(‘New York’ piece from a couple of weeks after the NYC Supreme store’s opening)
I’m prone to acts of Supreme fandom on the level of my Nike and Polo preoccupations. I make no secret of that. I am a Supreme Stan. I’m obsessed with other brands too, but the majority that ditched print and went “cut and sew” just seem Supreme-lite. The Supreme realm complements my love of brands like Fuct, Stussy and GFS, yet attempts to enter Supreme’s lane rendered some other once-credible lines corny. I remember wanting an OBEY design back when it was called Rebel or some such shit, but now they’re making shirts, slacks and militaristic little hats? That’s not so good. Supreme is just…Supreme. The reference points are tight, it rewards a certain geekery and nobody there’s trying to lay claim to inventing the wheel and sticking a box logo on it…they just make great gear. By avoiding any of 1994’s design pitfalls (graffiti fonts, drip, bolshy visuals), it stays looking correct at the core. Tight control and constant maintenance stops the wheels falling off and the no-bullshit nature of the empire has plenty of brands taking notes. By shirking any allegations that the brand is streetwear is a smart place to start, but it’s nice that your dad could find some well-made slacks in there, as he’d bumble around hordes of serious kids with plugs in their ears, AM87s and slender chinos. That’s the key to the brand. It caters to more than one audience. Plus they put in work and keep it thorough — those Prodigy projects weren’t a coincidence.
The launch of the London store was fun. The space is tremendous and Gonz’s touch cuts through the cleanliness with some tactically applied abstraction. I didn’t realise how popular the UK-product was until my twitpic of a box shirt ended up on a handful of major sites. The blogs were thirsty and Supreme broke out hype-flavoured Snapple. I love Soho too and it was heartening to see all involved pick the area above some barren, no-foot fall eastern enclave of ironists. As an antisocial individual, it was fun to have a one-stop catch-up spot (Jason Dill holding court behind the counter in a wifebeater is some distilled Supreme swag), and the after party was immense. Obviously there was no Prodigy because of parole and no Dipset because of issues locally and internally, but Ghostface can get overseas and rip it with J-Love in tow. With an appropriate amount of ‘Supreme Clientele’ material (and a replica of the album cover mic), Mr. Starks’s big ‘C’ sweat took centre stage too. It’s notable that Ghostface is imposing enough to fill one too, but how many parties have Theo Parrish spitting the ODB verse from ‘Protect Ya Neck’? Hell, even I don’t know the words because of those pesky edits on the LP version. Shouts to James, West, Angelo, Jagger, Michael and the crew. Hopefully Soho will rise again after idiotic rents put some legendary spots into early retirement — there’s at least one more significant opening on the horizon too. Props to the dude who — according to the internet grapevine — camped out and then bought nothing. That’s extreme window shopping. Shit, Ghostface’s heatstroke-inducing apparel pick inspired me to break mine out today.
(Props to Spencer on the camera)