(Founder & CEO)
New York City,
Number of locations
|Products||Clothing, shoes, accessories, skateboards|
|Total equity||US$1 billionRi (2017)|
The brand is targeted at the skateboarding and hip hop cultures, and youth culture in general. The brand produces clothes and accessories and also manufactures skateboards.
Supreme releases new products through their retail locations around the world as well as their website on Thursday mornings in Europe and America, and on Saturday mornings in Japan. The Supreme brand is popular in China, Japan, Europe and the US.
The brand was founded by James Jebbia in 1994. The first Supreme store opened in an old office space on Lafayette Street in Lower Manhattan in April 1994. 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. This store had its core group of skaters who served as its team in 1994, which included late actors Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter, and the first employees were extras from the Larry Clark film Kids. Jebbia explained that he opened Supreme in lower Manhattan because at the time there was nowhere else to buy skate products in the area. He focused primarily on more obscure, harder-to-find items and credited the open-mindedness of skaters with the brand's ability to take risks.
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. Other locations include Paris, which opened in 2016, London, which opened in September 2011, Tokyo (Harajuku, Daikanyama and Shibuya), Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. The additional locations emulate the original Lafayette Street store's design; stores feature rotating art displays, and use videos and music to attract attention.
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. 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."
In October 2017, Supreme opened their 11th store and second in New York City in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. 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. On February 25, 2019, Supreme moved their original Manhattan location from 274 Lafayette Street to 190 Bowery.
In November 2020, VF Corporation announced that they agreed to buy Supreme in an all cash deal for US$2.1 billion.VF Corporation bought out the investors Carlyle Group and Goode Partners LLC, as well as founder James Jebbia. According to VF, Jebbia will continue to manage the business.
The 13th store of the company opened on May 6, 2021, in Milan.
Supreme's skate team, as of 2021, includes Aidan Mackey, Ben Kadow, Jason Dill, Sean Pablo, Na-Kel Smith, Tyshawn Jones, Mark Gonzales, Kader Sylla, Sage Elsesser, Rowan Zorilla, Seven Strong, Vince Touzery, Caleb Barnett, Kevin Bradley and Beatrice Dimond.
Following the Paris store opening in 2016, Supreme also formed a French skate team that includes Dayanne Akadiri, Manuel Schenck, Lucien Momy, Dadoum Chabane, Damien Bulle, Victor Demonte, Valentin Jutant and Samir Krim.
Supreme has been granted trademarks in many countries including countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
In 2018, Supreme lost a lawsuit in an Italian court, and the European Union refused to register its trademark, so "Supreme" branded items not licensed, approved or manufactured by Supreme could be sold in Italy and Spain. Samsung was able to sign a promotion agreement with a fake Supreme brand in China. Finally, in November 2019, an appellate court of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) found that Supreme's brand is distinct and eligible for an EU trademark. "It has been widely demonstrated that the sign is used as a brand and in some cases seen as “‘cult’ in the field of streetwear," the court said. On August 27, 2020, EUIPO granted Supreme a Europe-wide trademark for bags, clothing and retail stores.
Fashion photographer Terry Richardson has produced some of the brand's most notable photographs, including of Michael Jordan, Kermit the Frog, Three 6 Mafia, Lou Reed, Lady Gaga, Neil Young, Gucci Mane, Nas, and Morrissey.
William "Bill" Strobeck serves as Supreme's main filmer, and has created several web edits for the brand such as "PUSSY GANGSTER" (2016), "CANDYLAND" (2019) and "STALLION" (2021). Strobeck has also filmed and directed both of Supreme's full-length films - "cherry" (2014) and "BLESSED" (2018).
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- Wolf, Cam. "Supreme Is Releasing a Box-Logo T-Shirt to Help in the Coronavirus Fight". GQ. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
- "Supreme®/Kangol® Bermuda Casual Hat". www.supremenewyork.com. Retrieved March 27, 2021.