Welcome to whatsgood. This is the second instalment of a 5-part weekly series of articles. We’re going to deep-dive into the origins of some of the most influential streetwear brands worldwide.
Ben and Bobby Hundreds were both law students. Bobby allegedly finished amongst the top of his year. After a summer internship at a law firm, Bobby Hundreds gained a mentor. One that lived too short of a life, as well as having pushed him to become an entrepreneur.
What’s the story then?
“I was divulging my plans for a project I had started with a friend, whereby we’d be putting my art onto t-shirts and backing up their stories online. It was to be called ‘The Hundreds.’ ”
After scraping their savings together (which apparently wasn’t a lot), Ben and Bobby reached out to a friendly face and screen-printer to help them. After delivering blank t-shirts and a handful of designs, their future brand tanked. Upside-down prints, wrong placements, etc. — Bobby and Ben lost the little money that they had saved. They didn’t want to stop there though. They pushed the ‘okay-looking’ t-shirts onto the market and used the money to find a new printer, which they eventually bought-out after getting laughed at for the small quantities that they ordered (yes, that’s how little budget they had to work with). As the brand breathes and lives today, their collaborations and willingness to help new brands has always stood at the foundation of their beliefs. So much so, that they actually printed t-shirts for competitors with their newly-purchased screen-printing shop.
So you now know this. What else?
This idea of incorporating a lifestyle into every single possible aspect of the brand, is what continues to set Bobby and Ben apart. A magazine, blog as well as a clothing brand — The Hundreds wanted to incorporate the story of their subculture in one product. The website rightfully boasts “the world’s first social merchandising company”.
“I feel like these kids — all they know is sneaker-collecting and buying t-shirts, and they don’t think about anything else. Every t-shirt brand is something stupid — a rapper and some guns.”
Striving to be a brand of substance, Bobby and Ben wanted to reverse the culture of mindless t-shirt and sneaker collecting. It’s reverse psychology really. Streetwear is counter-culture by nature, yet it was what this counter-culture was producing that the brand didn’t accept. According to them, the exclusivity of streetwear and t-shirt brands was missing. Exclusivity plays a continued central role in Bobby’s written communication to the fans of his and Ben’s brand. Correctly using the internet to create and communicate a brand that captured the LA lifestyle (skateboarding, punk, hip hop, etc.) as well as finding relevant prints for t-shirts and clothes (with corresponding stories), Bobby and Ben have successfully identified and executed on their niche.
Oh and here’s a little ‘did you know?’
Where does the name come from? A pretty cool quote to end the story of a pretty damn cool brand: