Why is Supreme 🔴 still a hype?
Talking about the brand Supreme, it's like one of those words in Millennials' dictionaries now. Like EVERYONE has to know about Supreme. Right? For me personally, I was introduced to it around 2016, which is very late to the game knowing what I know now. Thanks to one of my exes (she was obsessed with streetwear, which back in the day I didn't even know what streetwear was), I was transformed into a "hypebeast" overnight.
Supreme 1994: The Beginning
Let's take a step back to catch up anyone who doesn't know about the history of Supreme 🙄. Supreme is a New York City brand that was founded in 1994 by James Jebbia as a store for skateboarding, hip-hop, and rock cultures. It wasn't selling its own merchandise at first; it was just a regular skateboard retail store, just like Zumiez or Hot Topic today--as in, they didn't have their own "brand," they just sold merchandise from other known brands.
Weird marketing, but hey, it works!
To be honest, Supreme has the most incredible marketing that almost every streetwear and fashion brand has used (or will use) today. Many brands like AntiSocialSocialClub, Palace, and Bape have adapted their marketing to Supreme's brand--and it worked.
The marketing strategy is very simple:
- Don't release the same item and style.
- Set the same release time for every collection.
- Don't let people know what's going to be released (except special collaborations).
- Allow customers to purchase one item per design to manage resale and markup.
In-store Supreme release for new drops is every Thursday of the week at 10 AM EST, but hypebeasts can be on a list of in-store registration raffle on the Monday of the week to get into the store early so they don't have to wait in line the night before (yes, its still a thing just like iPhone release but every week). However, you have a better chance of getting the in-store than online because during the week they will restock items.
Online Supreme releases for a new drop follow the in-store which is every Thursday of the week at 10 AM EST, but the items sold out so fast (like under three seconds) after the online store got updated. Hypebeasts are now using third-party apps with bots to purchase items out of the Supreme website, and they spend hundreds of dollars on it. Personally, I would recommend using the Supreme app and then turn off your Wi-Fi connection.
Disrupting high fashion
In the year 2000, Supreme released its collection with emblazoned with Louis Vuitton’s monogram. It was a boom for the streetwear market because it was one of the first encounters of a streetwear brand and high fashion house like Louis Vuitton. However, a couple weeks later, Louis Vuitton sent a "cease and desist" letter to Supreme. In other words, Supreme doesn't want to get into a lawsuit with LV. Following this, Supreme posted on their website that the collaboration had been "recalled after two weeks due to lawsuit."
Fast forward to 2018, and Louis Vuitton, headed by Kim Jones as director of men, announced a collaboration with Supreme. It was like the end of the world; people in the streetwear and high fashion world went crazy over the collaboration. The release was very limited in every country, and the reseller price of each item went crazy like never seen before.
For example: Louis Vuitton x Supreme Malle Courrier Trunk Monogram 90 Red which retailed at $68,500 went up to today resell price for $250,000 which is almost FOUR TIMES the original price (isn't that crazy??? You could literally buy a Lamborghini with the same amount of money...)
My Personal Supreme Experience
In 2017, I purchased my first Supreme items which were a Condura backpack and a duffle bag. The duffle bag I was able to purchase online directly from Supreme, but for the backpack, it was sold out, so I was also introduced to the resell market like Grailed and StockX which allow hypebeasts that missed the drop a second chance to get their hands on the items.
The in-store experience has been overwhelming for me. I have been to four Supreme stores around the world: Lafayette Street in Manhattan, NY, Dover Street Market in Manhattan, NY, Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY, and Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan. I would say the price in the United States is 20% cheaper than the one in Japan--which is a lot.
This is just a tip, but it works for me: The best Supreme in-store experience would be the Brooklyn one (ayeee!). The space is much larger, and not as many people line up outside the store. Every time I visit NYC, I almost never have to stand in a line (maximum maybe five minutes) compared to the one on Lafayette Street that I once lined up for almost an HOUR on a Tuesday!
To me, Supreme is still one of the most legendary brands that still lives through the trends of hype. It has been 25 years since they debuted their first store, but the thing is, that they linked to the culture of Millennials. Every rapper, artist, or influencer still wears Supreme. Sometimes I think that having Supreme is kind of just showing off to others that you're "cool" or "trendy" just like wearing Gucci Ace sneakers or carrying a Louis Vuitton bag. But at the end of the day, it comes down to keeping up with the fashion world.