Bobby Hundreds: The Anti-Gatekeeper

The Hundreds is also known as the first brand born on the internet. It was launched in 2003 by Bobby Kim and Ben Shenassafar. The customer base had been years in the making. Bobby Kim, better known as Bobby Hundreds, wrote articles about streetwear culture. But, back In that era, what he wrote about wasn’t even called streetwear, it was called urban fashion.

He spread knowledge and information back when this culture only spread through word of mouth. He took its evasive nature and made it into something more for the public. He first started selling T-SHIRTS in 2003, he sold them not as apparel but as merch for his blog. The two partners initially were clueless about how to go about the process and only had a few hundred bucks each and a friend with a printing rig. But, as they say, you can build an empire with a t-shirt in streetwear. They had what they needed to kick start the process of creating their brand. 

In 2004 Bobby Kim designed one of his first graphics. Their initials, decorated with a white paisley print. A little while later he designed a sweatshirt with an all-over paisley print. This was pre-social media so he just put up a blog post about its release and went off to sleep. In the morning he was woken up by his girl. There was no way to count the number of sales on their (at that time) raggedy website. The sweatshirt had been oversold! If their ascent was steady before this instance, the paisley print sort of attached jump cables to The Hundreds and helped it blow up.

Bobby and Ben met at law school before they launched The Hundreds. Choosing your business partner is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. You’ll see that person the most, you’ll spend most of your waking hours with that person. Either through luck or pragmatic decision-making (probably a combination of both) their partnership is one of the most successful ones in this then-niche profession. Over 15 years now and they’re still going strong. Bobby is more of the creative while Ben handles the practical, financial/business side. Together, they balance out the equation. 

Circling back to Bobby’s Blogspot. One of the key elements of The Hundreds is storytelling. But, we need to keep in mind that even if he posted a blog at least once a day every day for over ten years, he was still never trying to do so with the mindset of just creating content. The Hundreds, from the beginning, aimed to document this culture which was back then hyper exclusive and share it with the community. We, at Delhiwear, aim to emulate some parts of this tendency. 

Each brand has its own identity, its own individual voice. The Hundreds is one of the most vocal labels which aimed to share every interesting subject that its founders came across. 

Truly a label that could have been a gatekeeper, but chose to try to abolish the concept of gatekeeping instead. 

Directions by Harkishan Alag

Written by Nandini Chopra