Sad news to pass along on as there is word that Susan “Suzie” Phelps, the founder and longtime owner of Cambridge-based fetish, punk, and adult novelty clothing shop Hubba Hubba, has died.
Hubba Hubba revealed the news Saturday afternoon (November 4) via its Facebook page.
“We are heartbroken to announce that Susan Phelps, owner of Hubba Hubba and long-time purveyor of punk rock fashion, adult toys, and fun stuff, has peacefully passed away today,” the store writes. “Please contact us privately for information about her memorial. Please feel free to post your memories of Suzie and Hubba Hubba. Love to you all.”
Phelps has operated Hubba Hubba, now based on Ellery Street off Massachusetts Avenue between Central and Harvard squares, for four decades. It spent several years in Cambridge’s Central Square before moving to its current location in 2014.
As news spread on social media, many took the time to reflect on shopping at Hubba Hubba over the years, and others noted that Phelps’ shop was the first place they bought essential items for their own personal identity.
“Bought my first pair of Doc’s from Suzi, first leather jacket too,” writes PanzerBastard’s Keith Bennett on Facebook. “And she put a spiked gauntlet on hold for me when I was 14 and didn’t bat an eyelid when I paid for it with $19 worth of quarters. A one of a kind lady who ran a one of a kind shop. Boston and Cambridge Headbangers, punks, skins and goths owe her a huge debt of gratitude.”
Adds comedian and TV Guidance Counselor host Ken Reid on Twitter: “RIP Susan. Without Hubba Hubba I wouldn’t have had a place to buy Stooges shirts, studded belts and leather braclets when I was a teenager.”
The cause of Phelps’ death has not been made public. Many on social media mentioned interacting her at the ManRay Halloween party at the Paradise just last weekend, where Hubba Hubba served as a vendor.
Below is a 2013 video spotlight on Phelps, an assignment for a Boston University cinematography course posted by co-producer M.E. Francis. Featured image up top is a screengrab from the video.