Articles & Essays
Supreme is Dead
Supreme is Dead
Supreme is a company considered more superior than any other streetwear brand, but as other great brands have fallen, is it Supreme’s time? The notorious luxury streetwear brand has picked up extortionate fame in the last few years, largely owing to a massive fan base of influential stars within television, music and fashion. James Jebbia opened the first store in New York on Lafeyette Street and since has opened nine more including six in Japan and others in London, Paris and Los Angeles. Arguably Supreme’s biggest achievement is its latest collaboration with high-end fashion name, Louis Vuitton, merging the two worlds of luxury and street. The collection premiered on a catwalk in Paris, with huge ‘Supreme’ logos battered over Louis Vuitton products. What’s more, given that the collection does not release until July and it is now only February the ‘hype’ is likely to increase exponentially.
However, over the last two years and particularly just recently, Supreme has started to lose favour. Ironically, it is Supreme’s success that has mostly driven its decline. The brand has become so famous that it is practically a household name. It is renowned as the most popular streetwear brand of them all. But this mainstream popularity has led to the loss of many hard-core fans who feel their brand has lost its underground image. Supreme has lost the following of those kooky low-key fans who like to wear brands that are cool and not over worn by the public, such as ADER Error or Midnight Studios.
Another reason is that buyers are catching on to the fact that, although the label is branded for skaters, the vast majority of people who wear it do not skate. Furthermore, skater enthusiasts say, ‘real skaters’, no longer wear Supreme. This gives the brand a false representation, where people are trying to become someone they are not which clashes with the concept of fashion/clothes as self expression.
Kids, kids, kids. A lot of people say that the ever-increasing adoption of Supreme by 11-15 year olds is making the brand ‘uncool.’ Others don’t care but Supreme is definitely a brand in decline. These kids are not trend setters, and only buy Supreme to be seen to be wearing Supreme, and to look like their older brother. The result is outfits with a lot of brand reference and very little style. Leo Mandella (@gullyguyleo) is a great example of this. This type of depreciation by younger fans has happened before. Take Abercrombie and Fitch or Superdry for example. In their time, they were the most popular clothing brand between teenagers and those in their early twenties. As younger fans latched on, the brands lost their appeal.
The fourth reason is resell. Reselling is when someone buys limited items of clothing and sells them for an exaggerated price. Reselling works for most people. A lot of people earn a living from it and others are glad that even though the item they wanted is sold out, they can still find it somewhere on eBay or in streetwear groups on Facebook. Although limited clothing is a great business plan, it means that only the absolute fanatics purchase and the the less committed people miss out. Re-sell value is usually 40-50% higher than retail price (the picture above is a t-shirt retailed at £50 and being sold at £250) although not completely unfair, it deters people who would feel cheated into paying £150 for an item that only worth £100. These types of people stop bothering and go for something a little less competitive.
Supreme is infamous for their pointless accessories. These, along with obviously distasteful and ugly clothes are released season after season. Some people say it’s a way of testing their fans dedication. Take for example the Supreme brick (above, which sold out for £60) or the Supreme Leaf x TNF Nuptse; these items ruin the brands credibility. As a further point on fan’s tendency to buy anything Supreme, the latest Supreme x Louis Vuitton trunk will retail for US$68,500 a price no real young man can afford but unfortunately a price that will not deter some. Supreme’s consistent exploitation of fans is unfriendly and unethical. This is topped off by their poor customer service.
The reputation of the ‘Hypebeast’ is becoming unattractive but one that is synonymous with Supreme. A Hypebeast is generally someone who will spend a lot of money on items that are very hyped up or anticipated. Supreme has become the epitome of what a ‘Hypebeast’ is. When you see someone wearing Yeezys, a Bape shark hoodie and a supreme box logo underneath (all above), it makes one immediately cringe. Many people want to avoid the reputation of being a hypebeast and so have thus stopped wearing Supreme.
In the opinion of a few (see top photo) Supreme is dead due to a number of contributing factors. However, just because it is dead now, does not mean it will not recover. Many brands like Bape for example have been revived and we may well see the rise of Supreme again in the future. For now, enjoy this person’s understandable but over the top hate for Supreme.
Sell while you can.
Edited by Anna Brady