No different menswear tribe has dominated vogue within the 21st century fairly like streetwear. It’s seen many victories up to now decade, from the largest fish in its ocean, Supreme, getting valued at $1 billion, to Virgil Abloh, founding father of Off-White changing into the king of vogue at Louis Vuitton, and all whereas the style dominates the reselling market, led by the quickest rising retailer within the sport, StockX.

However again earlier than the large bucks and mainstream highlight – again in 2003 – there was The Lots of, a Los Angeles streetwear label based by illustrator and face of the model Bobby Kim (aka Bobby Lots of), and the monetary brains behind the operation, Ben Shenassafar.

To grasp The Lots of it’s important to perceive the historical past of streetwear. A part of the second wave of streetwear manufacturers, The Lots of got here simply after the big-hitters of the ’90s – New York’s Supreme, Tokyo’s A Bathing Ape and Laguna Seashore’s Stüssy. These manufacturers had but to grow to be the billion-dollar enterprises they finally turned in to. Nobody was moving into it for the cash. “Everybody we admired was broke,” laughs Kim.

A DIY tradition persevered.

“We had been restricted to what we had the means and capabilities to do within the early ’00s. Printing graphic T-shirts was very accessible. Everybody knew the place to discover a silk display printer of their neighbourhood. We went to a child who did it in his again yard. There was a really low barrier to entry which is why it’s so youth-driven. We began with simply 300 {dollars}.

“After I consider what streetwear is I’m actually considering of that child who’s constructing a model in his storage and has no cash, printing three shirts at a time and promoting them to his mates. He’s collaborating within the tradition, he’s researching the historical past, he’s collaborating with different designers. There may be continuously a wave of that. That’s by no means died. At the same time as streetwear has elevated and excessive vogue has are available in and individuals are making huge cash, there’s all the time been that basis of what streetwear is.”

Identify: Bobby Lots of
Occupation: Illustrator and designer
Based mostly: Los Angeles, US
Identified For: Serving to make the graphic tee an important a part of streetwear model
Model Heroes: ’90s skate boarders Rick Howard and Mike Carroll, Alyasha Owerka-Moore (“my design mentor”) and Jules Gayton, an OG member of streetwear collective, Stüssy Tribe.

Bobby HundredsBobby Hundreds

The Look

The graphic tee grew to become the model’s – and subsequently Bobby’s – signature, backed by its ‘Adam Bomb’ brand – a whimsical, anthropomorphic black bomb. To personal a graphic tee from The Lots of is to be part of an unique, ‘in-the-know’ membership – Jonah Hill has been recognized to hang around at its LA retailer, whereas ‘it’ boy, Luka Sabbatt interned there.

The color black additionally grew to become a staple for the label with the model cladding one half of its attire out within the shade, whereas the opposite half is all about “wild” colors. The reasoning behind this break up comes from Bobby’s Los Angeles background.

“The ‘80s in LA was all about black. You had the Oakland Raiders, N.W.A., Weapons N’Roses, Sundown Strip, Black Flag. After which the ‘90s had been all about rave and unbiased skatewear manufacturers and that’s when color exploded. And we grew up by means of each of these generations, so half of what we do is black and the opposite half, a kaleidoscope of color.”

Bobby himself sticks to the darker aspect. As a person pushing 40, sticking to predominantly black clothes is a method of pulling off the streetwear look he’s all the time known as his personal, with out trying like he’s making an attempt too exhausting.

The match is free and outsized – from his tees to his cargo trousers and denims – topped off with matching cap and sneakers. Neat, uniform and easy.

“I like sporting my garments huge. I costume this fashion as a result of I really feel snug and assured in it. Generally I’ve to put on a costume for a marriage, and I simply don’t really feel assured in it. It’s simply not me.”

Bobby Hundreds

Model Signature: The Graphic T-Shirt

One other option to pull off the streetwear look previous the age of 30 is to verify there’s which means behind the garments you’re sporting. For Bobby it’s vital all his garments inform a narrative, which is particularly true of the graphic tees he all the time wears.

The one he’s sporting after we meet him simply earlier than the London launch of his new guide, ‘This Is Not A T-Shirt’, is a title of the fourth part in his guide written out in a script from his personal hand.

“It says ‘folks over product’. That has been the overarching theme behind the model since we began. We’re community-minded and oriented. We’ve all the time been about telling folks tales, greater than design. I don’t prefer to design issues simply because it’s trending. I problem each designer to begin each design with a narrative, and what that claims to me is that one of the best design has motive behind it. Why that color? Why that paintings? Why that match? There’s obtained to be a motive for all of it.”

Bobby Lots of’ 5 Important Model Suggestions

Making A Assertion With Camo

“From Maharishi to BAPE, camo has been a recurring tone within the historical past of streetwear. I believe it’s as a result of it’s the unique all-over print. It’s actually loud and aggressive whereas on the similar time being utterly impartial and refined. And that’s each streetwear man. They need to be robust and stand-out, however they’re additionally very passive-aggressive and don’t need to be totally on the market to the purpose of being corny.”

Streetwear Works For All Shapes And Sizes

“I grew up procuring in swap meets in south California. We didn’t go to the shops. It was very low-cost and it was Dickies pants and these [Alstyle] AAA clean T-shirts – boxy, stiff, rugged, not meant to crumble, not meant to flatter the physique in any manner.

It was a uniform. You’d put on these containers whether or not you had been a boy or lady and that may be a entire component of streetwear that’s not talked about. The way in which it matches is essentially the most inclusive clothes can get. A man or lady can put on it, totally different physique sizes, peak, shapes – everybody can put on it and everybody can look the identical and really feel snug in these garments.”

Bobby Hundreds

Select Your Sneakers Properly

“I’m choosy about my sneakers. I solely have ten pairs of sneakers at a time and half of them are simply black, really easy to pair with all the things. Plain Vans, plain Chucks, a black pair of Nikes. I’m not into tremendous outlandish sneakers. I don’t often put on Air Max 90s, however they saved me this pair, a collaboration with Maharishi, and so they type of appear like military fatigues which go along with my camo trousers.”

Stand Out With All-Black

“For our technology of LA streetwear guys, it was all the time black. I keep in mind doing promoting excursions of Europe, and all of the Europeans can be like “You LA guys and your black. Why do you do this if you stay in such a vibrant place?” and that’s precisely why proper there. When everybody else is sporting all the things brilliant and fluorescent we needed to stand-out and look cool by differentiating ourselves from all that, and we did that by sporting all-black.”

Hold The Headwear Easy

“This hat is an Undercover cap. It got here with a patch however I eliminated it as a result of I like clean hats. Don’t mess with what’s happening along with your tee.”