There's no doubt that Bobby Hundreds is one of the hardest workers in the game. After graduating from law school, Bobby Kim turned his career right around by co-founding The Hundreds with Ben Shenassafar in 2003. Started as a tiny side project, it quickly became one of the greatest streetwear brands in history collaborating with a ton of industry giants such as adidas, Fila, Disney, and PUMA, to name a few.
An absolute OG, we sat down with Bobby Hundreds himself for our latest "Under The Influence" segment to discuss his humble beginnings, hype culture, his favourite sneakers, and so much more! At a time like this, it's more important than ever to champion Asian icons. While you're here, here's why the #StopAsianHate hashtag is so important!
What got you into sneakers and streetwear in the first place?
A multitude of factors got me into sneakers and streetwear, but I can trace everything back to things like baseball cards and comic books, surf T-shirts from the 1980s, '90s skateboarding, graffiti, and hardcore.
When I started writing for a magazine called Stance in the late 1990s, that’s when I had to start calling up brands like Supreme and SSUR for product, and I fell in love with the artist-driven brands. I moved to Japan right after that to research A Bathing Ape and Japanese streetwear. I was officially hooked.
Where did the name The Hundreds even come from?
It’s a reference to community. “Hundreds” of people. “Hundreds” of ideas.
As a fellow Asian guy, did your family ever doubt your career choice or were they okay with it?
My parents were skeptical all the way up until I released my memoir in 2019. So, that was sixteen years of doing my brand before they took it seriously. They came to my book release - a packed-out house of hundreds of people, and were surprised. The next day, they visited my office for the first time.
Looking back at your career, is there a moment that you’re most proud of?
The day that we decided to commit to The Hundreds as our future. That was the biggest leap of faith, the tallest risk, and has proven to be the most rewarding. I finally took ownership of my own life and was free.
What is your opinion of hype culture?
I never know how to define what “hype culture” entails, or what it stands for. I think people are excited about specific things that are scarce? In a way, that’s always existed and always will. Perhaps the desired goods change with time, but the psychology around wanting to stand apart will always be a part of human nature.
What's your favourite sneaker at the moment and why?
Today? Like right now, as of this very moment, the new Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low. That’s an easy one. They are reminiscent of my favorite period of sneaker collecting - the early 2000s.
Other than The Hundreds, what’s your favourite clothing brand at the moment and why?
I like many of the brands I see on Avntspace. I’m not really drawn to the luxury or high-fashion end of streetwear. I’m also really into the smaller brands coming up in Los Angeles like Total Luxury Spa, Wckd Thghts, and Circulate.
Who is your dream collaborator?
I’d love to do an art show with my mom one day.
As the first person to notice Nik Agagju rocking a pair of Dior AJ1s during President Biden's inauguration, what was your reaction?
It was cool to see that, but I’m also good friends with Nik’s wife, Meena. I just knew it was him off-top. So, I tweeted her as a joke, but I guess it went pretty viral. I mean, I cared that he wore Dior x Air Jordan 1’s to the inauguration, but I really didn’t think about it too much. I was more infatuated with the idea that we were transitioning into a new presidential regime.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up that you can tell us about?
We are doing more events under Family Style, our food festival. That’s exciting for me because it signals the close of the pandemic. We’re all ready to get out and hug each other again.
How have you been keeping busy over the pandemic?
For us and myself personally, work never quite stopped. In fact, we had one of our best years ever in 2020, sales and marketing-wise. The Hundreds has been experiencing this new revival over the past few years as a younger generation moves in and we’re here for it! I feel like we’re starting all over again.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start their own streetwear brand?
It takes passion and patience. It’s all about timing.