Nothing divided the proverbial streetwear community more than the controversial news that broke early January of this year, Supreme would be collaborating with Louis Vuitton. On one side, you had the hypebeasts and resellers who lauded the announcement, because it meant they might be able to purchase a unique item, while giving the resellers a chance to possibly double or triple their profit margin.
However, at the same time you had the Supreme diehards who didn’t shy away from proclaiming their disdain toward the collaboration.
They argued that the brand was selling out, essential alienating their core audience, as well as the values they have held dearly for nearly a quarter century.
With that being said, I am not here to sway the court of public opinion one way or another. While I do consider myself a fan of Supreme, I am far from a diehard, ride or die supporter. I have a few pieces in my wardrobe, but will never camp out for a highly sought after release. If I am able to order the one item I just so happen to like that season, cool. If not, no harm no foul.
My reaction to the collaboration was quite different than my peers whose interests align with mine. For me, the news signaled a changing of the guard.
There is no denying Louis Vuitton is the pinnacle of high-end fashion. The fact that they are collaborating with a streetwear and skating brand is not something that should be taken lightly.
“You can’t have the conversation of New York men’s wear without Supreme right now, because it’s such a massive global phenomenon,” men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones told WWD.
Everyone’s generation, at least in their youth, underwent a rebellious phase. A go against the grain, “I’m going to do things my way” train of thought. this is what has attracted so many to Supreme, even going back to its debut in 1994. It’s notorious “I don’t give a…” attitude. The mocking and parodying of popular culture. Supreme has essentially epitomized the rebel culture. In fact, Supreme founder James Jebbia designed it this way.
“I want to do something where a young kid shopping with his parents might be like, ‘Mum, maybe you shouldn’t come in this store with me,‘” Jebbia told the Business of Fashion in 2016.
However, what the diehards and ride or die enthusiasts forget to realize is, at the end of the day Supreme is a business. Businesses need to grow and evolve over time to stay relevant and profitable. While Supreme might have started out as the anti-designer brand, it has essentially become a staple for not only celebrities, but for the everyman as well. By doing a collaboration with Louis Vuitton, Supreme is essentially etching their name in streetwear, menswear, and luxury wear history.
“I think a lot of people still want us to be this exclusive, precious brand, but we’re not at all,” Jebbia stated in that same Business of Fashion article.
“It’s much more complex than that.”
The fact that the yet to be known price point will essentially eliminate long time Supreme fans from purchasing anything shouldn’t deter from this historical achievement.
Over the past decade, we have become increasingly casual in our everyday lives. Suits are no longer mandatory in the workplace. Sneakers are suddenly universally accepted. Casual and jean Friday’s have now become, an everyday occurrence.
I am not advocating one way of dress over another. I, like many others enjoy being comfortable at work. I am simply describing the informal climate in which we currently live.
Supreme was once primarily worn by skaters. It has since flooded Instagram as well as the occasional tabloid feature story. The audience has grown, just like its vision.
Supreme has always lead the way in regards to its cutting-edge design and high-quality product. Its growth, in part due to the constant surprises it always has in store for the loyal fan base. This upcoming collaboration with Louis Vuitton, just another surprise that will cement Supreme’s legacy as one of the most unique brands of all time, and the most resold.
[Featured Image by Francois Mori/AP Images]