From streetstyle to the future of fashion
What is Supreme? A lot of my friends have asked me this question time and time again. For my answer, I simply tell them it is a clothing brand, but it is so much more. In April 1994, the very first Supreme shop was opened in downtown Manhattan. It was known as a skateboarding brand and was established by James Jebbia. So what does it actually mean, well to me specifically, the word means something or someone who is in a higher position that the majority. As part of the young generation, we choose to wear this brand because we will the ones to make an impact in the future of fashion. We want to be able to leave our mark somewhere along our lifetime. We proudly and bodly wear and represent this brand because we know the history and impact it has in the streetwear genre.
But for me, it all started when my friend talked about how exclusive it was and how hard it was to obtain certain pieces that he wanted. So after hearing all of his story, I started getting curious. It even got to the point where I started searching for videos regarding Supreme, it was all chaos. From 100 to 500 people queuing up, I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. So, a month later after getting paid; I asked my friend to go to the Supreme store with me. It was grisly yet fun experience for me, queuing up at 11 o’clock on a Wednesday evening when the shop opens at 11AM the next morning. It was a cold, wet February night; me and my friend decided to leave the queue to look for accommodation for the night. Walking around central London at 2 in the morning when its wet and cold really starts to play with your mind. So after going through literally, all the hotels we could find we came back to the queue even more exhausted. I overheard a group of people talking about a 24 hour Mcdonalds near by so I spoke to them and went ahead go to Mcdonalds. After a few hours of sitting there contemplating about how much I hated not being able to sleep in a comfortable place. So when the clock hit 6 o’clock we all went back to the queue to find that it had multiplied significantly. But we were determined to not go empty handed so we went to the very back of the queue and waited. After another 9 gruelling hours we only managed to get to the middle of the queue. So we decided to just buy it from a guy who was selling them next to the queue. At the end of it, we managed to spend a significant large amount of money but it was somewhat satisfying due to the fact that we had to go through a lot of hardship just buy a piece of clothing that has the word Supreme in it.
Supreme or Supreme New York started as a skate boarding brand that is highly influenced by the street culture and style, from that they started evolving due to the sheer amount of demand from people. Realising the significantly huge amount of consumer demand from other countries as well, they opened stores in large cities such as: Tokyo, Manhattan, New York, LA, London and Paris. Due to the high demand from consumers it became harder and harder to obtain them; but people are still willing to invest their time, money and effort just to be able to buy and wear the brand. This is not only because of exclusivity of the stocks either, only being to buy one pair of each design; no, it’s also mainly because of the trend. As for the materials, Supreme have used all types of materials there is. From Fabric made of cotton, flax, wool to demin, leather, down and fur; they have used them to create some of the most exclusive and memorable streetwear clothing to now be known as one of the best streetwear brand there is.
So why are people so influenced into wearing streetwear all of a sudden? Does streetwear reflect this generation’s fashion taste? Well firstly, the majority of teens are easily influenced by the people they idolised such as celebrities; take Kanye West for example and his Yeezy brand. People didn’t really get his aesthetics but then other celebrity started wearing them, then people took notice. It is because of that, people started to adapt that system of buying things that makes them different from the crowd. They want to be individuals that can have the opportunity to wear these clothes, which enables them to gain more self esteem through the credibility of their aesthetic. It’s as if wearing the same brand as their idols give them the same reputation. As well giving them the opportunity to represent the streetwear genre.
So does Supreme actually represent streetwear? How? Well for one they sell clothes that are considered to be in the genre of streetwear, plus they regularly collaborate with other streetwear brands such as, adidas, champion, undefeated and many more. So if there is a high demand of the items from Supreme, how does one become an individual from the rest of the group that also represents streetwear and Supreme. Well it is up to them how they mix and match their outfits to create their own identity.
In the streetwear genre, there are a lot of other brands that people goes crazy for such as: BAPE, Palace,Stussy, Undefeated, Champion, Anti Social Club, Billionaire Boys Club and of course Supreme. There are many more brands that could be included in the list and perhaps too many to list but when you are talking about the definition of streetwear, the majority of people would of course recognise Supreme. It is absolutely not the originator of the style but it is one of the greatest streetwear brand. So that is why, I choose to collect and buy Supreme.
Photographer & Words: Joe Roslin