The story of The Hundreds and the precepts that made it an iconic streetwear brand by Bobby Hundreds himself
Streetwear occupies that rarefied space where genuine "cool" coexists with big business; where a star designer might work concurrently with Nike, a tattoo artist, Louis Vuitton, and a skateboard company. It’s the ubiquitous style of dress comprising hoodies, sneakers, and T-shirts. In the beginning, a few brands defined this style; fewer still survived as streetwear went mainstream. They are the OGs, the “heritage brands.” The Hundreds is one of those persevering companies, and Bobby Hundreds is at the center of it all.
The creative force behind the brand, Bobby Kim, a.k.a. Bobby Hundreds, has emerged as a prominent face and voice in streetwear. In telling the story of his formative years, he reminds us that The Hundreds was started by outsiders; and this is truly the story of streetwear culture.
In This Is Not a T-Shirt, Bobby Hundreds cements his spot as a champion of an industry he helped create and tells the story of The Hundreds—with anecdotes ranging from his Southern California, punk-DIY-tinged youth to the brand’s explosive success. Both an inspiring memoir and an expert assessment of the history and future of streetwear, this is the tale of Bobby’s commitment to his creative vision and to building a real community.
About the Author
Bobby Kim, also known as Bobby Hundreds, is an illustrator, documentarian, designer, and writer. In 2003, he co-founded The Hundreds, a global men’s streetwear brand and editorial platform, with Ben Shenassafar and a few hundred bucks. The two are also partners in Second Sons, a brand development group that incubates, structures, and facilitates other small businesses. Bobby lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He also feels like notes about the author are redundant for memoirs.
"A comprehensive snapshot of [streetwear] culture before the Internet changed everything." —Tyler Watamanuk, GQ
"At turns poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, [This is Not a T-Shirt is] sprinkled liberally with both business aphorisms . . . and observational humor . . . enjoyable even if you’re not familiar with the brand." —Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times
“Bobby is the embodiment of the type of hustle that streetwear was built on. In This is Not a T-Shirt, he maps out how to start a brand and blow it up while maintaining a core community—it's like a streetwear bible slash history book.” —Ronnie Fieg, founder of KITH
“This is Not a T-Shirt tracks the history of surf and skate culture and their relationship to streetwear—from the Zephyr skate team of the 1970s to brands like Stüssy, Supreme, BAPE, and, of course, The Hundreds, which has managed to stay relevant for more than fifteen years in a fickle market. This book is an insider's guide to the prevailing trends in youth culture of the last few decades that highlights the importance of self-discipline and self-confidence; the same traits that made me fall in love with skateboarding at a young age.” —Tony Hawk
“This Is Not a T-Shirt is a story about the power of culture, the power of community, and the power of values and beliefs to shape and influence identity in ways that we sometimes overlook. It helps us understand both Bobby Hundreds and how streetwear has changed the way we think about ourselves and each other.” —DeRay Mckesson
“With This is Not a T-Shirt Bobby Hundreds has proven that he’s not just an incredible designer, but a literary force as well. The book is smart, funny, and gives some real insight into the ever-changing, ever-elusive Streetwear game. It’s a great reminder that art exists in many different forms and that a kid with a dream can be unstoppable.” —Lena Waithe, creator of The Chi
“Simply put, Bobby Hundreds is a social beast. He knows how to tell a story, where to tell that story, and he's great at bringing people together. He's also crazy dedicated to his work and has the laser-focused attention to detail needed to not only build an everlasting globally relevant brand, but any successful business.” —Gary Vaynerchuk, author of #AskGaryVee
“Building a brand is about identifying and fulfilling a need in a way that no one else can. It takes vision, dedication, and attention to detail. The Hundreds is a prime example of what it looks like when you've combined all these elements along with tapping into a culture and community. This is Not a T-Shirt guides you through methods and tools you can apply to get you one step closer to fulfilling your dream.” —Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company
“Bobby Hundreds is an encyclopedia of American pop culture, from breakfast cereals and Saturday morning cartoons to hardcore, punk, and hip-hop. He's packed all of his cultural insights into This is Not a T-Shirt, a book about turning your hobbies into your passions, which he's done his entire life. Also, we went to high school together, he was way cooler than me then, and now he's written a book before I have, and that's extremely annoying.” —Alan Yang, co-creator of Master of None
"For anyone who wants to understand the explosive streetwear phenomenon disrupting the fashion business, as well as the community-driven engagement that lies at its core, Bobby Hundreds' This is Not A T-Shirt is an excellent place to start. One part entrepreneurship guide, one part fashion education and one part branding manual, Bobby tells fascinating stories and offers lessons that can be applied to anyone building a modern business anywhere. A must read." —Imran Amed, The Business of Fashion