BOBBY HUNDREDS’ “BUILT TO FAIL: A STREETWEAR STORY” WILL BE A CULTURAL LANDMARK
It takes a lot to become a legend in the ever-changing world of streetwear, especially in today’s hyper-paced, Internet-driven world. Trends come and go, and the hottest brands from 6 months ago can be relegated to “whack” status faster than the newest hot release sells out online.
One of those legends is Bobby Hundreds. He built The Hundreds, one of the most iconic streetwear brands in the world from the ground up with his business partner Ben Hundreds. They’ve managed to stay relevant for almost 15 years in an industry that’s constantly evolving, a remarkable achievement.
But his very best work may just be arriving upon us. Bobby’s always been focused on documenting the culture and paying homage to OG innovators as well as the new breed by shining a spotlight on them and sharing their stories. His brand-new film “BUILT TO FAIL: A Streetwear Story” premiered to rave reviews at the LA Film Festival last week. It’s early … but it’s looking like the film might be a landmark moment for street culture. What’s it about? It’s a documentary about how and why streetwear happens, as well as an extremely interesting history lesson.
The story of how streetwear subculture actually came to be has largely been undocumented till this point in time, and the film aims to do just that, as well as paint a picture of the culture itself as a whole, something that Bobby’s always been adamant about.
You see, streetwear wasn’t always the cultural juggernaut it is today. It started from humble beginnings, as a small community of hobbyists in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo with shared interests like surf, skate, punk, and hip-hop created clothing that they felt represented their lives and their culture. Bobby stated that he feels the mainstream media has twisted the definition of streetwear and what it stands for. With this film, he set out to shine a light on the true backstory of streetwear, making sure it was done justice.
Streetwear has always presented an extremely interesting conundrum. It’s built on independence, street cred, and a devil-may-care attitude. However, as Bobby says, the moment you make a dollar off your art, you’re compromising your credibility. He refers to it as an “age-old tussle between art and commerce, except with an element of street credibility that distorts business success”.
He went on to say that “Streetwear may be set up to fail, but that doesn’t mean that it does, or that these creators do. In fact, I think that summarizes the streetwear spirit. Defying the odds, and rising above. Unlocking the impossible”.
It’s impossible to fully shed a light on streetwear’s backstory, as there’s hundreds of influential brands and people that have left their mark on the culture. Each and every single one of those creators, thinkers, and influencers would probably see it a different way (part of what makes streetwear so great), but Bobby has gone the extra mile to ensure that the culture he loves was done justice by sitting down with Rick Klotz, Eli Bonerz, Futura, A$AP Rocky, Meg@, Jeff Staple, Futura and more for in-depth conversations (over 150 hours of interviews were conducted in the making of the film), all sharing one important question asked of every interviewee: “What is streetwear?”.
For anyone who’s into streetwear, old or young, new to the game or ten years deep, there’s something you can take away from this film. It’s important that the new wave understands: Streetwear is more than just the latest hot trend or must-have T-shirt. It’s a culture born from rebellion and expression, and one with a truly rich backstory.
The film was executive produced by Matti Leshem and co-directed by Scott Weintrob and Alexis Spraic. It’ll see a wider release soon, but until then, we’ll be waiting with bated breath.
What do you think of “BUILT TO FAIL: A Streetwear Story?” What does streetwear mean to you, and where do you see it going in the future? Hit us up and let us know on Twitter, check our Facebook page for updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire pictures you can handle.