“There wasn’t much luring,” Stussy told WWD. “I was just in a good place in my adventure, and he’s in a good place, and the stars just seemed to kind of line up. And if I’m going to come out for a last hurrah, why not with Dior? That’s the way I look at it. It’s the very top of the top. I have nothing but respect.
Jones, who is widely credited with integrating streetwear into the luxury fashion narrative, was unsurprisingly a fan of Stüssy the brand growing up. “I used to wear it head-to-toe all the time in my teens,” said the designer. “It was something I was really, really, really obsessed by. I’ve got boxes of it.”
If you’re not familiar with the story of the counter-cultural label, Stussy started out four decades ago as an entrepreneurial surfer living around Laguna Beach. He screen-printed T-shirts and shorts to sell alongside the surfboards he was shaping for friends, each splashed with the same graffiti-style Stüssy logo that appears on the brand’s products today. Stussy resigned as president in 1996, and the years that followed saw a new umbrella of creatives grow the international fanbase of musicians, skaters, DJs and artists that are part and parcel of Stüssy’s unique subculture.
“For me to work with someone like Shawn is a real honour,” continued Jones. “He’s an artist, that’s the thing. If you can work that line like that, and it’s that memorable, it’s like an artist. That’s why I wanted to do it with him: he’s made an iconic image with his hand.”
The master of penmanship created a new font for Dior and passed it over to Jones’s team to colour in the “tutti frutti” tones of Miami’s Art Deco architecture and archival Dior looks from the 1960s. “What intrigued me is when [Jones] started talking about taking my kind of iconic art work and putting it into these couture methods,” said Stussy of the extremely complicated printing process. “I have zero interest in going and printing some $40 T-shirts, but to do this was really an eye-opener.” Some of the beaded shirts in psychedelic shades required 2,600 hours of embroidery to complete.
When the collection goes on sale in 2020, it will be 40 years since Stüssy was born. Would the man behind it ever step back into the spotlight? “I can’t change back to what I used to do,” he said. “I’m happy with this right now. But I’m always a dreamer. I dream, so I take nothing off the table.”