Given the pandemonium around the latest Supreme season’s offerings, it seems like a good time to look at some lesser-discussed pieces on the brand. The trouble with the internet is that most of the folks who were first seem to have vanished, taken down their sites or simply left behind by their early 2000s lack of search engine savvy. Sadly, it seems that Nikolai’s Rift Trooper site (one of the key inspirations for this blog) has gone after he stopped updating at the close of 2009, but thanks to the wonders of web.archive.org, you can read his very short interview with James Jebbia from July 2002 back when btinternet.com hosted sites were a thing, and conducted between the own-brand Downlow shoe and the original SB project. Here’s the preserved version of the page. The other links on the page are down, but searchable too — shouts to Simon and his Concept Shop site, with its early history of the Supreme backpack. The article it references is a good one too — talented designer Kevin Lyons’ brief piece on the legalities and morals of borrowing imagery in streetwear, Cease and Desist: Issues of Cultural Reappropriation in Urban Street Design, featuring Russ from SSUR, Joseph from Union, James from Supreme (and Union) and Eric Haze’s in discussion on the topic. Taken from the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design’s January 1996 issue, it’s actually more illuminating than most lengthier examinations of the same subject from recent years. Seeing as Lyons had worked for SSUR on some classic designs for Supreme, he certainly had some insider knowledge. It was reproduced in AIGA‘s now out of print Design Culture compilation from 1997.
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“INFLUENCERS” & 2001 NOSTALGIA
Is there a more misused term than ‘influencer’? Every time anyone uses it at corporate level, somewhere a puppy dies. It’s that bad. Anyone swanning around thinking they’re influentual almost certainly isn’t. If they afford themself the title that’s even worse, like thinking you’re funny, but being flowed free product specifically to wear in order to shill more to a moronic crowd daft enough to follow their lead perches at the same tier as the guy holding the ‘Golf Sale’ sign down Oxford Street. The ‘influencer’ just has a nicer jacket, but the outcome is usually similar – pushing mass-produced sportswear in a targeted way. Clowns. But this blog was never meant to be the negativity zone, otherwise I would’ve vented here in self-indulgent fashion at being snubbed in favour of even bigger toys than myself (now that’s truly toy) for events or the startling ineptitude of so many blank eyed public relations people making a limited edition pig’s ear out of the brands they’re paid to promote. I don’t want to make this blog that place, so let’s talk influences. Like Chucky D said, most of my influences don’t appear on no seeding lists. But a few do.