Life isn’t perfect. Sometimes we make mistakes, and sometimes we are affected by things beyond our control. Despite the circumstances, we persevere, embracing adversity as part of our journey. Having Bad Luck embodies a mindset of resilience. The people wearing the clothing are unwilling to let outside forces dictate their future. We choose to channel the negativity, acknowledging that struggles are a part of life. Our community is built on this philosophy.
Our collective has developed over the last decade, since before Having Bad Luck was even a streetwear brand. For those curious about our journey, this timeline provides an explanation of the pivotal events in the formation and growth of our community as a whole.
HBL was founded and developed after 3 teenagers discovered “street art” as a creative outlet. During the early years the collective was focused on art, but soon expanded beyond its original meaning. A tight-knit family of friends formed around the diverse subcultures in our community. In November 2014, HBL experienced the tragic loss of not only a member of the original crew, but a dear friend, brother, and inspiration to many. Clay Harding and his signature sloth character, Surya, left a permanent impression on the world. He is remembered dearly and he lives forever through his art.
HBL started to create Surya inspired clothing to remember Clay. Starting with limited quantity, hand-screen printed designs, Surya and Clay’s legacy spread across the East Bay community. HBL partnered with the local skatepark family, raising proceeds to support the preservation of a place many people, including Clay, could call home.
HBL reached a turning point when the brand decided to incorporate alternative designs to reflect the community that was built with Clay. While HBL holds various meanings to different people, ‘Having Bad Luck’ was the meaning that resonated the most. As we produced new designs that expressed the theme of Having Bad Luck, the brand started picking up traction outside the local community that celebrated Clay. Having Bad Luck is a brand now recognized from Oakland to Atlanta to London.
A new year, a new decade. We are excited for what the future holds. As Having Bad Luck continues to evolve, we will always remember our roots. No matter when or why you chose to join the HBL family, we hope you feel empowered to embrace bad luck like we have. Thank you all for your love and support.
In Memory of Clay Harding