Supreme Clothing, Looking Behind the Hype of a Supreme NYC Drop
When we heard that the next Supreme drop would be with Louis Vuitton, we knew that pandemonium would soon follow. Well, the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collab has officially debuted at Paris Fashion Week Mens, and yes people are going crazy. Mixed in with the latest Louis Vuitton mens collection is an assortment of Louis Vuitton x Supreme bags, baseball jerseys, and accessories. If you’re not familiar with the history of Supreme clothing, this may seem like no big deal. However, for the millions of Supreme New York fans across the world, this represents a whole new level of Supreme clothing fashion collaborations. Over the years, the skater centric brand has built a cult like reputation in the world of streetwear, hip-hop, pop culture, and of course skate culture. Tapping into the energy of youth culture, Supreme NYC is largely responsible for the rise of celebrity collaborations and celebrity fashion lines. Early on the brand began to team up with artists such as Jeff Koons for exclusive skate decks. Similarly, Supreme NYC brought this same energy to apparel and footwear collaborating with brands like Nike, Northface, and Timberland.
Let’s take a step back and discover how Supreme NYC went from a small skate shop to one of the most influential brands in pop-culture and streetwear today.
Supreme Clothing Owner and the First Supreme Shop NYC
Supreme clothing owner, James Jebbia, opened the first Supreme store in NYC in 1994. However, this wasn’t Jebbia’s first attempt at fashion. In 1989, James Jebbia began his first retail venture, UNION NYC, a hip-hop infused streetwear concept with cofounder, Mary Ann Fusco. A few years later in 1991, Jebbia entered another streetwear retail project, joining Shawn Stussy opening the first official Stussy store. From his experience and successes in streetwear, Jebbia went on to launch the first Supreme clothing shop on Lafayette street in NYC.
The Next Supreme “Drop” and What it Means
The Supreme “drop” proved to be one of Jebbia’s most profitable moves. Unlike most brands who release new products by Season, Supreme NYC only releases five to fifteen new products at a time. It’s a strategy that the brand has down to science. Every week on Thursday at exactly 11 am (eastern US Time/GMT), the brand releases its next Supreme drop online and at each of its ten stores. Even if you happen to grab a decent spot in line, there’s no guarantee that you’ll leave with product. The brand routinely only delivers a maximum of 400 products.
The First Supreme Clothing Collection
Remarkably, Supreme’s first drops were very similar to today’s. Take for instance its collection of Supreme tees released in 1994. The Travis Bickle tee, which launched Supreme’s Taxi Driver motif, is still a fan favorite today. Soon after in 1995, the iconic Supreme logo tee made its way into Larry Clark’s film, Kids. This only further intensified the brand’s growing connection with streetwear and youth culture. Next, came the Supreme Vans collab in 1996 and a iconic Supreme Keith Harring drop in 1998. The early 2000s were also an especially important time for James Jebbia’s Supreme NYC. We saw the release of several Supreme drops for its line of artist skateboard decks. Notably, In 2011 the Supreme x KAWS Skate deck was released. KAWS later went on to have his work featured everywhere from MTV to the Macy’s day parade. Today, the KAWS skate deck sales for $6,000.
Supreme Nike and Celebrity
Even with growing popularity, James Jebbia managed to stay focused on the Supreme clothing vision. The early 2000s also brought a series of iconic fashion and celebrity Supreme nyc collabs. The brand’s influence in sneaker culture really began in 2002 with the first Nike Supreme drop. For the collaboration, Supreme New York went for Nike’s most lucrative product introducing the Supreme Air Jordan III. It’s safe to say that the drop was a success, considering that the Nike Supreme collaboration count now totals 15 strong. Soon after, Supreme clothing really amped up its celebrity collab game focusing primarily on graphic tees and sweatshirts. 2005 saw the release of the Supreme Raekwon & Elmo tee followed by Dipset’s Jim Jones & Juelz Santana, Mike Tyson, Kermit the Frog, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, and even Supreme Neil Young. Likewise, Supreme clothing also eased its way into fashion and eventually high fashion. Jebbia definitely spread the deck collaborating with brands ranging from Northface in 2007, to Brooks Brothers, Champion, and eventually Commes Des Garcons and Louis Vuitton.
Supreme Clothing Today
So here we are. Every Thursday, Supreme NYC releases new pieces, officially launching the next Supreme drop. It’s all out fandom. Especially with the hysteria over the new Louis Vuitton Supreme bags, which by the way aren’t actually available yet. The lines can be seen wrapping across the Supreme clothing shop on Lafayette Street in NYC and even in Japan outside of Supreme Tokyo’s zen garden. What is everyone looking for? Well if you don’t know already, you’re not supposed to. That’s a big part of the subculture of Supreme clothing. Just ask any of the 1.4 million Supreme clothing fans on Facebook. Or if you really want to engage, try your hand on Reddit where the r/supremeclothing group is 43,000 members strong. You’ll have to join the waitlist first though, competition for even a Supreme clothing reddit membership is steep. These people aren’t just fans, they mean serious business. From scoping out the next Supreme drops to the underground world of Supreme resellers and buyers, Supreme is a fashion obsession like never before. The only worries of a true Supreme fan is always, When is the next Supreme drop.