According to these two hypebeast articles, it seems like Supreme is going to be moving in the direction accessibility instead of exclusivity. And, if you ask me, I think everything started going downhill sometime after the infamous brick.
The founder, James Jebbia, has said that he wants to make those famous release-day lines shorter, and have the stores be the kind of store where you can walk in on a random afternoon and check stuff out.
We’ll see what ends up happening, but I don’t think this is a good idea for the brand. It says that they’re not trying to put new stores in edgy locations, but instead in places where “people actually go.” That makes sense, but I feel like they’re overlooking the point.
They’ll be able to sell more, yes, but this is all surprising because the brand’s success has been built entirely on exclusivity. A lot of supreme stuff is objectively ugly, and a lot of the accessories (see the brick) are stupid, but they sell because they’re a streetwear status symbol. If everyone has something, nobody has something.
I would argue that the insane resale prices the brand is trying to combat are what actually was keeping excitement for the brand alive.
Anecdotal evidence suggests hype for supreme is already dying. Supreme will soon cease to be high-fashion in the streetwear world. If I were in charge, I’d be looking to make the brand even more exclusive than it has been.
Take Comme des Garçons for example. I’ve been to a CDG store once, and finding it was nearly impossible. This is what it looks like from outside. To remain on the same tier as Comme des Garçons, Supreme has to be more like this, not more mainstream.
The recent news that prompted me to write this article wasn’t about interviews, though, it was the more recent news that Supreme has sold a minority stake to a private investment firm for their “operational expertise.” To me, it seems like they’re losing their brand identity.
I might be wrong; if people are getting bored of what Supreme is now, then maybe it is time for the change they’re making, but I think they’re missing the point.