Behind the Box Logo

Image – Slate Magazine feature ’15 Things You Didn’t Know About Supreme’

Image – Print Supreme Ad, circa 1994

Those who know me, know that Supreme has long-been one of my favorite brands. The brand is one of the few that I’ve maintained interest in through the years. Since I bought my first Supreme t-shirt in 2005, I have witnessed the brand grow into a true global phenomenon. The popularity of Supreme is seemingly higher than it has ever been with an army of resellers, hypebeasts, Tyler fanboys, tastemakers, and the tasteless chomping at the bit to buy every last item off their digital and physical shelves.

Part of the appeal of Supreme has always been the ambiguous place they held within the fashion community. Supreme was a strange amalgamation of high fashion and your local skateshop. The brand frequently chooses collaborators from popular culture as well as the weirdo underground. Since it’s inception Supreme has always made reference to subversive cultural movements of the past and present and incorporated them into a line of men’s utilitarian basics.

In that way it is a brand that is both nostalgic and unapologetically modern; acutely self-aware and apathetically ‘cool’. The ultimate longevity of Supreme is that it has continued to just be without stopping to explain, define, or prove itself to anyone.

Today I came across the part one of an article entitled ‘Inside Supreme: Anatomy of a Global Streetwear Cult’ on the Business of Fashion. This article was written by Alex Hawgood and was first published by 032c.

A short excerpt below

‘There are so few examples of stories about Supreme that Jebbia finds successful, he treats the chosen pieces like scripture that he is eager to share. The holy writ includes an interview with Glenn O’Brien from Interview magazine from 2009, a 1995 article from Vogue comparing the persnickety shopping habits of the uppity uptown women who peruse the racks at Chanel’s boutique on East 57th Street and the baggy-pants, bed-head boys who wait in line for hours at a time to shop at Supreme in SoHo; and of course, the 300-page retrospective of the brand released by Rizzoli last year (of which Mr. O’Brien wrote the introduction, and in which the Vogue article was reproduced in full.)

The message is clear: Supreme is sacred, and it’s sacrilegious to get the story wrong.

“The fashion industry doesn’t understand Supreme,” says the stylist Andrew Richardson, who has helped facilitate several projects with the label, including a calendar with Larry Clark. “And that doesn’t bother James one bit. They want James out and about, paying for dinners and hosting parties. But he’s not. Fashion people want something that is uncomplicated and easy to digest – those are the opposite things James embraces. But really, at the end of the day, James doesn’t care. Why should he?”’

Read the entire piece online at BoF and lookout for an upcoming post of old Supreme magazine scans and ads from my personal archive.