While Ben and I were opening our first store in LA in 2007, we were already planning for our next destination. Back then, before e-commerce had sunk its teeth in, the true mark of a brand was having physical flagships. San Francisco made sense. It was close – an hour’s flight. But also, SF was moving in our direction as far as streetwear and sneakers were concerned. Pioneer shops like True and Red Five set the stage for a new generation of street fashion.
To test the SF waters, we were invited to a group sample sale featuring only Bay Area brands. We loaded up Ben’s Explorer with boxes of clothes and made the 6 hour drive to San Francisco. The morning of the show, we pulled up to the warehouse and saw a line around the block.
Ben asked the organizer what the commotion was all about and we were surprised to hear that the majority of the kids were there to see us.
We were sold out by the early afternoon and that’s when Ben and I looked at each other and realized San Francisco was ripe for The Hundreds.
LA and SF have this historic rivalry. We were always told that as an LA brand, we’d never make it in the Bay. That day, we realized kids don’t care where you’re from, as long as you make dope shit.
We started making more trips to the city. It was a good three or four visits before Ben found our new home, what used to be an old uniform shop. Post and Taylor sat right on the outskirts of San Francisco’s busy shopping mecca of Union Square. Huf was around the block on Sutter. Goyard was the nearest store down the hill.
We hired our friends Tyler and Spencer to help design the shop. They worked on our first store in LA and knew that—for The Hundreds—narrative and storytelling were most important.
Back at The Hundreds LA, I designed an art installation with two graves outside the store. Skulls and bones and cultural artifacts. They symbolized Ben and I and that our souls were invested in the space. The Hundreds was a total reflection of our lives. We ran with that, multiplying the skulls all over the San Francisco shop. Now, the store wasn’t just representative of Ben and I, but our entire community. The Hundreds wasn’t just our brand, but everyone’s.