Style The iconography of Stüssy’s iconic 8 Ball

The iconography of Stüssy’s iconic 8 Ball

Andrea Tuzio

It is said that the 40 years are an important milestone, a sort of turning point that should not be read in a negative way, but as a turning point towards a stronger self-awareness to better face the second part of life. This is true not only for us individuals but also for all those realities that work in the most diverse sectors and build their legacy through work, dedication and innovation, always remaining firmly at the roots from which they come.
This year one of these realities has reached its 40th anniversary.

Stüssy, the brand founded by Shawn Stüssy n 1980 in Southern California, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with several releases and collaborations that emphasize the legacy that the brand has left in the streetwear world and beyond in recent years.

The symbol that has been part of Stüssy’s heritage since its inception and has returned with devastating aesthetic power in recent years is the 8 Ball.

The 8 Ball, in the American Carom, is the one that decides the match. If you throw it in the hole as the last ball you win, if it falls in the hole first, you lose everything. They call it “ball of destiny” and it symbolizes those who never give up, in the urban language it represents the last man left standing.

From pool hall to an icon of the hotroad and rockabilly world, from a good luck charm to a mysterious symbol, the 8 Ball is imbued with American identity and perhaps that’s why it became a perfect icon for Shawn Stüssy and his brand when he created the first graphics in the early 80s. During these 40 years, the 8 Ball has appeared on every Stüssy garment possible and in almost every advertising campaign until it was shelved probably to refresh the aesthetic of the brand. 

In 2018 this iconic symbol made its return to the scene at the opening of the London chapter store in Soho.

The campaign designed for the event showed a giant 8 Ball rolling through the streets of central London, passing by Piccadilly Circus at the gates of Buckingham Palace and on the tracks of the Tube, ending its journey inside the window of the new Stüssy store.

On the occasion of the celebrations for the 40th anniversary, Stüssy has created, among other things, a special limited edition capsule collection that puts the 8 Ball at the center of the graphic design, as if to emphasize and emphasize the origins of the brand and recognize the importance and centrality of that logo over the past 40 years.

An iconic symbol that, in addition to hiding a myriad of meanings, has also represented – and continues to do so – a certainty for fans of streetwear and the brand founded by Shawn Stüssy exactly 40 years ago.

Written by Andrea Tuzio
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