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The Hype of Supreme

Thursday, October 25, 2018

T-shirts that’ll run you $1,000. Hoodies that go for $2,000. Crowbars that sell for $250 and individual bricks that cost $200. Supreme, the billion dollar streetwear brand has taken the world by storm with their outlandish products and even crazier resell prices.

In 1994, James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme, started up his first store in SoHo, Manhattan. At the time, it was a cool, simple yet secretive shop that sold clothes and skateboards to skaters in the area.

The goal of Supreme was never to make it big one day but rather to provide for open minded, loyal customers. This optimistic attitude of both the brand and its customers did wonders in the earlier years with notoriety spreading quickly through word of mouth.

Eventually, celebrities started to take notice, most notably rappers such as Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and Tyler the Creator. They took Supreme and brought it into the public eye for the first time. They started boosting the brand’s popularity and the public’s demand for it.

Sophomore Lyla Gonsalves, a fan of Supreme’s earlier underground years, isn’t particularly a fan of all the new hype that has been brought to the company.

Hundreds of people line up outside the Los Angeles Supreme store waiting for it to
open (photo credit: Glossy).

“I feel like in the beginning people bought Supreme because they really enjoyed the brand,” she said. “Nowadays people just buy it for the hype. Back then I used to like Supreme more compared to now but as it got more mainstream it got less cool. Everyone just wears it because of the hype rather than actually liking the product, which I don’t agree with.”

On the other hand there are people like senior Daniel Kohn, who enjoys all the hype and attention that Supreme has been getting recently

“I like Supreme because I gotta flex,” he said, referring to dressing in a cool way. “It’s all about flexing.”

The hype surrounding Supreme was also created through the company’s brilliant marketing approach. Supreme has never spent a penny on advertising, they have never sold out and gone commercial, and they aren’t afraid to express their viewpoints and make a statement.

Through the limited quantity releases of their products, over time they have created a market where every single one of their items sell out. From dog bowls to shovels, fans of the brand never hold back in buying something labeled with the Supreme logo.

Along with the hype, however, has come a resale market where sold-out items are marked up and resold at a much higher amount. This has caused a lot of issues where fans of Supreme have to pay ridiculous prices for the items they want.

“I think it is good that the world knows about Supreme,” Kohn said. “What's bad about it though is that you can’t always get what you want. Now you gotta pay a lot more on other websites and most of the people buying Supreme just try to resell it rather than wear it.”

While Supreme continues to gain popularity, it seems to have lost a part of itself along the way. The hype of Supreme has paved a path for the company -- one that conflicts with the ideals of their once simple, secretive shop. Loyalty doesn’t seem common anymore.

“When Supreme was out on the streets more and worn by everyday people who actually liked the brand, it was better because it was still genuine,” Gonsalves said. “When celebrities and influencers started wearing it, they took it to another level and kind of ruined it.”