Supreme (brand)

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Supreme
Founded1994; 25 years ago (1994)[1]
FounderJames Jebbia[2]
(Founder & CEO)
Headquarters,
Number of locations
12[4]
ProductsClothing, shoes, accessories, skateboards
Total equityUS$1 billion[5] (2017)
ParentThe Carlyle Group (50%)
Websitewww.supremenewyork.com

Supreme is an American skateboarding shop and clothing brand[6][7] established in New York City in April 1994.[8] The designer brand caters to the skateboarding, hip hop, and rock cultures, as well as to the youth culture in general. The designer brand produces clothes and accessories and also manufactures skateboards. Its shoes, clothing, and accessories are sold extensively in the secondary market.

The distinctive red box logo with "Supreme" in white Futura Heavy Oblique is largely based on Barbara Kruger's propaganda art.[7]

History[edit]

The brand was founded by James Jebbia. Although he was born in the United States, he lived in England until he was 19.[7] Jebbia has no title within the company.[1]

The first Supreme store opened in an old office space on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan in April 1994.[9][10] It was designed with skaters in mind with a unique design for the store layout: by arranging the clothes around the perimeter of the store, a large central space permitted skaters with backpacks to skate into the store and still feel comfortable.[7] This store had its core group of skaters who served as its team in 1994,[7] which included late actors Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter, and the first employees were extras from the Larry Clark film Kids.[1]

In 2004, a second location was opened on North Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles, California, which is nearly double the size of the original New York City store and features an indoor skate bowl.[11] Other locations include Paris Opening in March 2016, London Opening in September 2011, Tokyo (Harajuku, Daikanyama and Shibuya), Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka.[12] The additional locations emulate the original Lafayette Street store's design; stores feature rotating art displays, and use videos and music to attract attention.[10][1]

Supreme stocks its own clothing label, as well as other skateboard brands such as Vans, Nike SB, Spitfire, Thrasher and Girl Distribution Company, among others.[13] James Jebbia was quoted in saying that anything that Supreme releases will never be classified as "limited," but notes that they make short runs of their products because they "don't want to get stuck with stuff nobody wants."[7]

On October 5, 2017, Supreme opened their 11th store—the second one in New York City—in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.[14][15] On October 6, 2017, James Jebbia confirmed that the label had sold a significant stake in the company of roughly 50% (around $500 million) to private equity firm The Carlyle Group.[16][17][16]

Supreme plans on opening its 12th store, on Market Street in San Francisco, in early 2019.[18][19]

Work and collaborations[edit]

Supreme has a diverse history of collaborations with various skateboard and fashion brands. Among their frequent collaborators include Nike/Air Jordan, Vans,[20] Clarks, The North Face,[21] Hanes, Playboy, Levi's, Timberland,[22] Coleman,[1] Comme des Garçons,[23], Stone Island,[24] and Champion.

Supreme has also collaborated with brands to create a variety accessories and other non-clothing items such as a cruiser bicycle,[25] bricks, crowbars, a gas-powered mini bike with Coleman,[26]an Everlast punching bag[27] and a Stern pinball machine[28].

On January 18, 2017, luxury fashion company Louis Vuitton held a fashion show where a collaboration between the two brands was confirmed. Pop-up stores featuring the collaboration were opened on June 30, 2017, in Sydney, Seoul, Tokyo, Paris, London, Miami, and Los Angeles.[29] Louis Vuitton's proposal for a pop-up store in New York City was denied by Manhattan's Community Board No. 2 after residents expressed their "outrage that such an event was being proposed for [Bond Street]".[30] In 2017, The Dapifer reported that Lacoste partnered with Supreme for a limited men's capsule collection.[31] One commentator noted that "Supreme clothing isn’t particularly remarkable — think T-shirts, jumpers, caps and leather accessories — but plaster that iconic red logo on a white shirt and suddenly, it’s worth hundreds of dollars", pointing out that "the brand’s success lies in its scarcity model. It releases a limited number of new products each week, nowhere near the number needed to keep up with demand", causing long lineups as well as inflated secondary market (resale) prices.[32][33]

Supreme regularly collaborates with Hanes to release a line of branded T-shirts and boxer briefs, as well as skateboard parts with skate brands Independent Trucks and Spitfire Wheels.

Supreme has released skateboard decks featuring the artworks of Harmony Korine, Rammellzee, Ryan McGinness, KAWS, Larry Clark, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Christopher Wool, Alessandro Mendini, Nate Lowman, Damien Hirst,[10] and John Baldessari. In addition, they have collaborated with other photographers, artists, and designers such as David Lynch, Robert Crumb, Marilyn Minter,[34] Takashi Murakami,[35] Daniel Johnston,[36] Peter Saville,[37] Futura, Bad Brains, Public Enemy, H. R. Giger, Mark Gonzales, M.C. Esher, Dash Snow, and Nan Goldin.[38]

Videos[edit]

Supreme's website maintains a page for official videos created by the brand.[39]

The first video released by Supreme was A Love Supreme, featuring music from John Coltrane's album of the same name and filmed by Thomas Campbell.[7][10] It was a 16-minute black and white skateboarding video filmed on a Super 8 camera.[40]

In 2014, Supreme released "cherry",[41] and in 2018, "BLESSED"; two feature-length skate films that were filmed by William Strobeck.[10]

In 2017 Supreme asked Circlemakers,[42] a group of crop circle makers from the UK founded by the artist John Lundberg, to create a massive crop circle of the Supreme box logo at a secret location in California.[43] The crop circle can be seen in the short film produced by Supreme called Crop Fields.[44]

Lawsuits[edit]

Supreme lost a lawsuit in an Italian court.[45] As a result, Supreme cannot register its trademark in Europe,[46] "Supreme" items not manufactured by Supreme can readily be sold in Italy and Spain,[47] and Samsung was able to sign a promotion agreement with a European "Supreme" (not Supreme).[48][49]

Awards[edit]

In 2018, Supreme was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Menswear Designer of the Year Award.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

Fashion photographer Terry Richardson has produced some of the brand's most notable photographs, including of Michael Jordan, Kermit the Frog,[50] Three 6 Mafia, Lou Reed, Lady Gaga, Neil Young,[51] Gucci Mane, Nas, and Morrissey. Kenneth Cappello[52] made some of Supreme's most notable photo tees like Mike Tyson, Dipset, Michael Jackson, and Raekwon.[53]

Notable people who have worn Supreme clothing in public include members of the group Odd Future,[54][8] Odell Beckham Jr, Justin Bieber, Bad Bunny.

Other celebrities who have been seen on or wearing the brand include Shane Macgowan, Kate Moss, Prodigy, Slick Rick, Diddy, Lady Gaga, and David Blaine.

The Supreme brand is very popular in China.[55]

After being featured in the skate video "cherry", Converse shoes saw a spike in sales at skate shops.[56]

The fifth episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj focuses on Supreme and its influence on street culture.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Charting the Rise of Supreme, From Cult Skate Shop to Fashion Superpower". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  2. ^ "Supreme's Buyout Reportedly Values the Brand at $1 Billion USD". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  3. ^ Woolf, Jake (2017-10-05). "James Jebbia Wants Shopping at Supreme to Be Easier". GQ. Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  4. ^ "Supreme stores". www.supremenewyork.com. Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  5. ^ "Supreme Just Became a Billion-Dollar Streetwear Brand". Complex. Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  6. ^ Chaplin, Julia (October 3, 1999). "PULSE: LAFAYETTE STREET; 'Kids' Welcome, Dress: Baggy". The New York Times. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "50 Things You Didn't Know About Supreme". Complex. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Supreme Clothing, Looking Behind the Hype of a Supreme NYC Drop". The Dapifer. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Supreme about". www.supremenewyork.com. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Jonathan. "Almost 25 Years Later, Supreme Is Still a Skate Shop". Vice. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  11. ^ Abrams, Micah (April 16, 2006). "Into L.A.'s Deli Land, Enter the Skaters". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  12. ^ "Supreme stores". www.supremenewyork.com. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  13. ^ Bahney, Anna (October 31, 2003). "Get 'Em While They're Cool: Footwear for the Few". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  14. ^ "Supreme Is Opening a Store in Brooklyn This Week". 3 October 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Here's Why Supreme Decided to Open a Second Store in New York". 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  16. ^ a b "BoF Exclusive - Supreme Confirms Investment From Carlyle Group". 6 October 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  17. ^ "How Supreme Grew a $1 Billion Business with a Secret Partner". 10 October 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  18. ^ Hughes, Aria. "Supreme to Open San Francisco Store". WWD. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  19. ^ Wolf, Cam. "Supreme's World Domination Tour Starts in San Francisco". GQ. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  20. ^ Bergyl, Skylar (March 18, 2015). "Supreme x Vans Spring/Summer 2015 Blends In (Get It?)". Four Pins. Four Pins. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  21. ^ Bergyl, Skylar (April 20, 2015). "Supreme x The North Face Spring/Summer 2015". Four Pins. Four Pins. Archived from the original on April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  22. ^ Woolf, Jake (2015-09-21). "3 Legendary Brands Just Made the Most Hyped-Up Boots of the Season". GQ. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  23. ^ "Supreme Comme des Garcons Shirt SS17 Drop Info - THE DAPIFER". THE DAPIFER. 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  24. ^ "Supreme x Stone Island 2016 Spring/Summer Collection". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  25. ^ "The Best Items Supreme Has Released Every Year for the Last 20 Years". Complex. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  26. ^ "Men's Accessories - Watches, Sunglasses, Bags at The Idle Man". theidleman.com.
  27. ^ "Supreme & Everlast Just Dropped a Punching Bag - Highsnobiety". 24 November 2018.
  28. ^ "Supreme Stern Pinball Machine: Release Date, Price & More Info". Highsnobiety. 2018-05-24. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  29. ^ "Louis Vuitton Confirms More Supreme Collab Pop-Ups". Highsnobiety. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  30. ^ "NYC Denies Supreme x Louis Vuitton Pop-Up Proposal". Highsnobiety. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  31. ^ "Lacoste Supreme is Really Happening, See the Collection-The Dapifer". THE DAPIFER. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  32. ^ Sebra, Matt (30 June 2017). "Supreme x Louis Vuitton Resale Prices Are Already Out of Control".
  33. ^ "The cult genius behind Supreme".
  34. ^ "15 Artists Supreme Introduced to HypebeastsMarilyn Minter". Complex. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  35. ^ Sklar, Samuel Hine, Ben (2017-02-06). "Takashi Murakami Wants to Paint Over the Louis Vuitton x Supreme Collaboration". GQ. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  36. ^ "A History of Supreme's Artist CollaborationsDaniel Johnston". Complex. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  37. ^ "The History of Supreme's Music CollaborationsPeter Saville for Supreme". Complex. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  38. ^ "The History of Supreme's Music Collaborations". Complex. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  39. ^ "Supreme random". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  40. ^ Woolf, Jake. "The Other A Love Supreme". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Skating Meets Style in Supreme's New Video". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-05-26.
  42. ^ "Circlemakers". Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  43. ^ "Supreme Shares Mysterious New "Crop Fields" Video". Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  44. ^ "Crop Fields". Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  45. ^ "Supreme Loses Counterfeit Case in Italy". HYPEBEAST.
  46. ^ "Europen [sic] Union refuses to register Supreme as trademark". nss magazine.
  47. ^ "Italian Court Rules Against Supreme in Counterfeit Case". Supreme California. 2018-08-02. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  48. ^ Etienne, Stefan (2018-12-10). "Samsung angers hypebeasts by partnering with fake Supreme brand in China". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  49. ^ Meek, Andy (2018-12-10). "Samsung teams up with a fake, knock-off brand of Supreme to make products in China". BGR. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  50. ^ "Terry Richardson x Supreme x Kermit the Frog". February 29, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  51. ^ Cardiner, Brock (October 13, 2014). "Supreme Fall/Winter 2014 Editorial by Terry Richardson for 'SENSE' Magazine". High Snobiety. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  52. ^ "A History of Supreme's Artist CollaborationsKenneth Cappello". Complex UK. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  53. ^ "SUPREME T-SHIRT - T-Shirts - Supreme - Apparel". www.projectblitz.com. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  54. ^ "Gallery: Celebrities Wearing Supreme". Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  55. ^ "Supreme streetwear (including fakes) takes China by storm".
  56. ^ Pappalardo, Anthony (23 October 2014). ""THE CHERRINGTON EFFECT"". Jenkem. Retrieved 19 November 2018.

External links[edit]