Bobby Kim is the co-founder of the highly sought-after streetwear brand ‘The Hundreds’. DeMarco Morgan had a chance to spend the day with Bobby and get some insight into his inspiration, unique upbringing, and success.
Kim, also known as ‘Bobby Hundreds’, says his signature clothing is inspired by California culture. That includes everything from skateboarding and surfing to punk and hip-hop.
“It’s more commonly known as a men’s streetwear brand,” Kim said. “When you pick up a pair of pants from us, it’s named after a street name in la that maybe some kid had grown up on.”
The native Southern Californian started the business back in 2003 in his one-bedroom apartment with his fellow Loyola law school classmate Ben Shenassafar.
“In school, I met Ben, my partner, and we had a shared interest in streetwear and sneakers and it was a distraction at first and then it became an idea of ‘what if we started our own brand and participated in this marketplace?’”
The company now operates stores here in Southern California, across the US, and around the world.
We were with Kim at the company’s headquarters in Vernon, where he showed DeMarco around, gave us a sneak preview of the Spring 2020 line and talked about building his success as a child of immigrant parents.
“I grew up with immigrant parents from Korea,” Kim said. “Not everyone has that experience, but we all may have been in a place where we felt like we didn’t necessarily belong within our communities. I grew up in a town, Riverside, that was predominantly Asian-American. It was a lot of white and Latino folks and so I felt different in that way I gravitated towards skateboarding and punk and different subcultures that weren’t in the mainstream.”
Kim says always knew he was bigger than his environment.
“It’s really important for people of color to see that there’s someone like them who’s out there building a brand within a space that has traditionally been run by people who didn’t necessarily look like me and us.”