If you’re not familiar with The Hundreds, you should be because “The Hundreds is Huge” (says their motto), a motto that also happens to be true. Whether you realized it or not, chances are you’ve spotted this brand on someone walking down the street and if you’re just learning about it, you’ll definitely spot it from now on. Bobby Kim, aka Bobby Hundreds, is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of The Hundreds and he might just be the ultimate multi-hyphenate – he’s an illustrator, writer, photographer, and designer. What began 12 years ago as a Los Angeles-based creative project has steadily grown into the massive success that it is today as a men’s apparel label with three flagship stores and popular online and print magazines read by millions. And can we just talk for a moment about the fact that he has a DeLorean?! Sit back, get a snack, and feast on this week’s Friday Five with none other than Bobby Hundreds.
I try to surf every day. I succeed maybe twice a week, depending on conditions, how much ice cream I ate the night before, and how much I believe in myself. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m a different sort of person if I don’t start my day off in the water (typically, drier), even though that entails getting swallowed up by the grey, ice-cold bile circling Venice Beach at 7am. I once came up for air and there was a used condom on my head. I thought it was just an old coke bag, and hurled it into a dead cat floating by. I’ve fooled myself and many of my friends into believing that I’m now an active, sporty guy because I surf; but, really I surf because it’s the one part of my day where no one asks me for something (except old condoms).
2. Korean food
I was vegan, then vegetarian, for four years of my life and missed nothing. I couldn’t care less about the oily cheese dripping from your chicken quesadilla, or that bloody blue steak you hacked off a baby calf’s butt-cheek. You know what, In-N-Out burgers taste exactly the same without the patty (two sponges of special sauce wrapped around tomato slices). The only part of my old life I longed for was Korean food – the sweet LA-style kalbi ribs, crisp kimchi, and spicy pork. Growing up, my mom tried to Americanize my brothers and I out of embarassing, garlic-rich Korean delicacies that made the white girls howl. But, Lunchables, Costco cutlets, and KFC Chicken Littles couldn’t deter our native proclivities. The heart wants what the heart wants.
3. ’90s Skateboarding
Because I was a teenager in the 1990s, my opinion is that everything amazing started there. Especially circa 1993. Music (Wu-Tang “36 Chambers,” Cypress Hill “Black Sunday,” Quicksand “Slip,” Snoop “Doggystyle”). Movies (Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Fugitive, Sandlot, Sleepless in Seattle). This was also a pivotal year for skateboarding, as it emerged out of the rubble of MTV-blown pop culture. Much akin to how the culture is repositioning itself today out of corporate strongholds, skateboarding in the early ’90s was led by independents opposing everything that came before. Baggy clothing, technical street tricks, and offensive board graphics poured the foundation for the next generations of youth rebellion.
Kinda like how Americans are infatuated with the exotic Orient, I am just as obsessed with unadulterated USA culture. I’ve always dreamt of retiring in a midwestern mountain town, with my best friend / barber / sheriff, and a pet alligator. Then, I remember that I’m Asian and from Los Angeles and drive a DeLorean. But, one memento I keep from this fantasy is a porch. I have a small excuse for a porch at my house now, but one day, I want one of those wide, sweeping porches that frame the perimeter of the house. The kind that is veiled with a screen, designed to keep the mosquitos and hippies out, and my rocking chair and shotgun in. I don’t even drink iced tea, but I would pour a glass every night just to Instagram with a #blessed hashtag and an emoji of an American flag.
5. Asian babies
My favorite people in the world are my Asian babies, but I will gladly accept most Asian babies. They’re all sorta indistinguishable at that Play-Doh face age, so I don’t know where to draw the line between my children and the Vietnamese couples down the street. Asian babies are really fun, because no matter what sort of kooky getup or haircut you give them, they only look more Asian. I grew up in a predominantly white and Latino community, so for many years thought I was a blue-eyed, blond-haired Mormon boy adopted by a very warm Korean family. Imagine my confusion when my first baby was born of Asian descent. I’d often pass by his crib and wonder aloud who was going to retrieve this adorable, lost boy. After about eight months, my wife finally convinced me that the baby was indeed mine and I should stop referring to it as “Adorable Lost Boy” as it was alarming our friends. I decided to keep it and promptly tried for another one to see if it would happen again. It did.