By: Julia Swee
Throughout the years, ‘Supreme’ has managed to amass a large and growing following as it has come to symbolize the underground streetwear that has taken over the fashion game.
‘Supreme’ started 26 years ago as a small skateboarding and apparel brand that was famously shy about publicity. It launched in 1994, when a designer by the name of James Jebbia opened a ‘low key’ skateboarding and clothing store on Lafayette Street, in SoHo, the heart of New York’s high end fashion scene.
Jebbia claims he was drawn to the “edgy and effortlessly cool style of the young skaters of New York City” in the late 90’s.
It took 10 years before ‘Supreme’ opened their second store in Los Angeles. Today the brand has two stores in New York City, six in Japan, and outposts in Paris and London, as well as a singular location in San Francisco.
Instead of choosing to promote their brand consistently, ‘Supreme’ laid low and waited for the people to come to them. This added to the level of value to their clothing items. ‘Supreme’ would launch sales for one day, and only the most informed and high class members of society would become aware of them. This allowed the brand to transform into a luxury staple, as each piece was one of a kind and worn publicly by influential figures.
The idea of keeping their launches very low key allowed for the brand to flourish as each piece was originally bought for a cheap price from the first sell, and due to its uniqueness, the buyer would resell the piece for at least 4 times the price it was bought for. The price goes up for each of the pieces as the designs get older and older. Along the way of becoming a huge name brand, ‘Supreme’s’ street cred has been bolstered by collaborations with other high end fashion brands such as Nike, Vans, Levis, and Louis Vuitton.
With the large amount of street credit came the die hard fans for the store. These fans were dubbed ‘Supreme heads’ or ‘hypebeasts’. These fans would line up for hours on end outside of ‘Supreme’ stores just for product release events that sometimes can sellout in a matter of minutes. ‘Supreme’ shoppers will pay anywhere from $30 to $100 for a hat or shirt, and from $150 to $450 for a sweatshirt or jacket.
In order to attend a ‘Supreme’ in store release, you have to register online for that day. The registries close extremely fast, and fill up almost immediately. If you manage to get registered, you will likely receive a text message confirmation telling you the time and date to show up at the store. You must show the store your photo ID and credit card, that you used to register, in order to be allowed inside the store.
The lines outside of the store can last for around 3 to 4 hours at times. The lengths that people go to, to end up paying extreme amounts of money on these items show how die hard the ‘Supreme’ fan base is about the brand.
Throughout the years, ‘Supreme’ has grown an enormous amount. Today ‘Supreme’ is considered a high end fashion brand, with people all around the world friending to get their hands on anything by the name. Personally, I think that the brand is a prestigious, notable line that represents the ways that the fashion game has molded to the 21st century. Wearing ‘Supreme’ not only gives you a sense of style, but transports you into a world of class