Pacific Sunwear of California, or PacSun for short, was founded in 1980 by Tom Moore. The company began as a small surf shop in Newport Beach, California.
In 1981, a second location was opened in a shopping mall. The mall location was a huge success.
By 1987, there were 21 locations, all located in shopping malls.
The company began to struggle when they expanded outside of California. Michael Rayden was hired as CEO.
The company turned things around and had 60 stores by 1993. The company went public the same year.
By 1996, there were 198 stores in 33 states.
The company launched a national advertising campaign in 2011 called Dress Irresponsibly. While the campaign was a success, it also received broad criticism from parents when they noted that some clothing had images of nearly naked women or an inverted American flag.
In 2012, PacSun collaborated with sisters Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner to produce their own fashion line based on their personal style.
In 2016, the company went private again after filing for bankruptcy. PacSun was acquired by Golden Gate Capital that same year.