In 25 years, the ultimate super brand Supreme has now become a household name of taste and trend. Fans are charmed with its collaborations with different brands and artists.
text: Michelle Siu
這個簡單紅底白字的標誌，到底有何吸引之處，現時公司估值更超過了10億美元？這就得從它的背景講起。Supreme原先是一間位於美國紐約的滑板店，1994 年由James Jebbia創辦。須知道滑板不單只是一種運動，更結合時尚、塗鴉、地下音樂和叛逆精神，帶有與主流抗衡的態度，因此吸引了一群街頭文化愛好者。在互聯網尚未普及的時代，Supreme透過貫徹街頭風格的方式去宣傳，例如在街上貼海報，以及與一些街頭藝術家和音樂人合作推出滑板、帽子、T恤等。適逢街頭文化日漸普及，因此Supreme在街頭文化圈打響名堂後，越來越多名人紛紛穿上Supreme的服飾，再加上後來媒體跟社交網站的推動，使品牌成為潮流的代名詞。這時Supreme更容易、也更積極地跟不同明星和藝術家合作，比如邀請樂壇巨星女神卡卡、超模凱特．摩絲、拳王邁克．泰森等拍攝聯名宣傳照。品牌亦持續與國際知名藝術家推出聯乘款式，如塗鴉師KAWS、當代藝術家達明安．赫斯特等，令這個紐約街頭品牌漸漸走進高級藝術的殿堂。
時至今日，Supreme與各大品牌共同設計的聯名款可謂多不勝數，亦往往成為時尚界的熱話。聯名產品除了可展現品牌雙方的特色，設計師們也能藉此擦出許多新火花。近幾年Supreme更跨足高級時尚圈，打破精品與街牌的藩籬，包括跟杜嘉班納、Commedes Garçons等合作，兩年前在路易威登 2017秋冬男裝秀上亮相的“ Louis Vuitton x Supreme ”聯乘系列更是引起全球熱烈關注，甚至更進一步將街牌推向精品一般的高度。說回最令人期待的Supreme 2019春夏聯乘系列資訊，本季較受關注的是攜手施華洛世奇打造25週年紀念系列的奢華水晶Box Logo T恤和連帽衛衣，分別嵌入1,161和1,201顆水晶；另外還有與高緹耶、The North Face、耐克Air Tailwind IV、Stone Island、添柏岚的聯乘，相信早已掀起一場腥風血雨。接下來的聯乘系列估計有大家熟識的品牌冠軍、范斯、法国鱷鱼，同是滑板系列的Thrasher、Anti Hero，還有日默瓦行李箱、Hanes聯名豹紋打底系列，以及跟深入亞文化的日本藝術家Norihiro Sekitani、金屬樂隊活結等合作。
What is the attraction of this billion-dollar streetwear brand with a simple red-and-white logo? Founded in 1994 by James Jebbia, Supreme started as a skate brand in New York,the USA. Skateboarding is not just a sport, but also a combination of fashion, graffiti, underground music and rebellious spirit, with an attitude of countering the mainstream, thus attracting a group of street culture lovers. At first, Supreme took street-style advertising methods through posters and collaborating with street artists and musicians, selling everything from skateboards,hats and T-shirts. The streetwear scene has gradually nurtured, Supreme has become sought-after and even the leader of streetwear as stylish celebrities wearing Supreme. The popularity of the internet and social networks also helped to promote the brand. Supreme was then easier and more active to cooperate with different stars, for instance, the photoshoots featuring Lady Gaga, Kate Moss and Mike Tyson. The brand has also launched the collaborations with famous artists such as KAWS and Damien Hirst, which has infiltrated the fine art world.
Over the past 25 years the undisputed king of the collaboration, Supreme, has chosen to work with a huge variety of partners. Collaborations have been a longstanding staple within the industry that fuse the strongest elements of all parties concerned. In recent years,Supreme has collaborated with more high-end fashion brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Comme des Garçons and so on. The “Louis Vuitton x Supreme” collaboration showcased at Louis Vuitton Fall 2017 Menswear collection was the hottest topics of the fashion world two years ago, which exposed streetwear brands to much larger audiences, forming the high-street fashion. For the much-anticipated Supreme 2019 Spring/Summer collection, the collaboration with Swarovski took thousands of hand-applied crystals to commemorates its 25th anniversary, with 1,201 used for just one hoodie and 1,161 for a box-logo tee. It also had collaborations with brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, The North Face, Nike Air Tailwind IV, Stone Island and Timberland earlier this year, and is expected to collaborate with other renowned brands including Champion, Vans, Lacoste, Thrasher, AntiHero, Rimowa, Hanes, etc. It may also work with underground Japanese artist Norihiro Sekitani and heavy metal band Slipknot.
A thing is valued if it is rare. It is common to see people queue up overnight to get into a Supreme store, since all the products are limited editions with limited-time offers, which can only be ordered through the official website or in the physical store without any distributors. Supreme also keeps a secret of the new release and new collaborations, hence they are invaluable just like collectibles and sometimes people are flipping Supreme products for over 12 times their usual price. Today, Supreme has a clear influence in the world and unique brand attitude with different types of love and interpretation.