One collaboration I’ve not mentioned here before in all the proto industry model talk is 1990’s Stüssy i-D magazine tees. Created to commemorate the magazine’s tenth birthday alongside pieces from the likes of Simon Foxton, the shirts were sold for 15 quid via mail order. The Stüssy design was pitched to readers as a Shawn Stussy for i-D project rather than a straight-up brand collaboration and offered in white or grey. Given that the brand would take a slightly different, pared-down look, release some tribe-centric videos and host an event in Tokyo (that’s still considered a pivotal moment) the following year, it was inevitable that this project would make a splash far beyond London.
It wasn’t just the pioneering streetwear line that had a significant 1991 making grander Japanese inroads — i-D’s first Japanese incarnation was launched in September that year, lasting 16 issues. As a result, I’ve seen different versions of the shirt, which originally read “Enjoy yourself stupid amounts” on the front in that familiar hand style and included a dense list of predominantly female names on the back that includes the Queen, Sade, Lisa Stansfield, Sarah Stockbridge, Grace Jones and Wendy James.
There’s also a long-sleeve variation that periodically crops up on Japanese sites, but I’m more fascinated by what appears to be an ultra-90s embroidered Cross Colours-eque bootleg from a time when extra taped details and all-stitch everything was an indication that something might not be right. While I never saw it at the time, there also seems to be a (legitimate?) 2000s reissue with a different back print. Compared to all the other good stuff circa 1990, the aesthetic isn’t particularly revolutionary, but given that it preempts the ‘X’ wave by several years, Stüssy and i-D’s union on cotton was an early mutual respect moment in the history of the streetwear partner project.