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Where the runway meets the street

 

Ever since the grand opening of their Lafayette store in 1994, Supreme have singlehandedly redefined what it means to be a cult brand. The mélange of influences and interests brandished throughout the iconic streetwear label’s designs have merged together a legion of devoted followers spanning across a vast landscape of subcultures; from skaters and punk rockers, to rappers and hypebeasts.

Supreme drops are infamously fueled by hype, excitement and curiosity; with fans eagerly glued to their computer screens while refreshing their browsers until that glorious 11am curtain lifts to unveil their coveted range of sartorial offerings. But a notable highlight accorded with every drop is seeing who the brand have enlisted to include in their broad catalog of storied collaborations. Ever fond of pop culture and outlandish graphics, the roster of Supreme’s collaborators consists of an eclectic mix of talent: cult film directors, skate legends, provocative artists, musicians and the like.

Supreme collaborations have now grown to a sizable quantity, but with Halloween just around the corner, we took a moment to revisit some of the hallowed streetwear brand’s more macabre pairings. From obscure film references to hauntingly abstract illustrations, here are some of Supreme’s creepiest collaborations ever. 

UNDERCOVER

Supreme’s SS15 collaboration with storied Japanese label UNDERCOVER sported a number of ghoulish graphics including a teddybear with a screw driven through its head, a shadowy Renaissance-style hand collage and, our personal favorite, an homage to one of cinema’s most iconic (and terrifying) villains, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Siouxsie Sioux

Perhaps one of the greatest music collaborations the streetwear magnate has ever produced, Supreme flexed their inner goth when they conjured up a range of Siouxsie Sioux gear for their SS14 drop. In addition to fronting one of the world’s most influential rock bands – Siouxsie and the Banshees – Sioux’s signature cat-eye makeup, blood-red lipstick and all-black fetish attire would epitomize ’80s gothic fashion and anoint her as a style icon for years to come.

H.R. Giger

This chilling capsule line was dedicated to the late Swiss artist H.R. Giger, known first and foremost for his surreal “biomechanical” graphics popularized via his Xenomorph design from Ridley Scott’s Alien film franchise. Introduced just a few months post Giger’s death, the FW14 collection immortalized his sinister designs via a coaches jacket, hooded sweatshirt, knit top, long-sleeved tee, two short-sleeved tees and two skate decks.

E.T. 

For their FW15 sartorial lineup, Supreme showed some love for everyone’s most beloved martian with a series of goods adorned with a still from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 sci-fi family classic E.T. Comprising of a hoodie, t-shirt and skate deck, the capsule “phoned home” the NYC label’s fondness of pop culture icons.

David Lynch

Having established a penchant for eccentric artists, it came as no surprise when Supreme tapped director David Lynch for this 2011 t-shirt collaboration. Best known for his surreal neo-noir thriller Mulholland Drive (2001) as well as his oddball cult ’90s TV series Twin Peaks, one of the tees featured a still from one of Lynch’s earlier films, the hauntingly bizarre Blue Velvet (1986), while the other donned one of the director’s abstract drawings.

Britney Spears/Charles Manson

This tee recalled a rather darker period in Britney’s career when the entire world was certain that she had gone completely insane, which was only further endorsed when the pop singer hastily decided to shave her head. To commemorate this moment, Supreme decided to sprinkle a bit of social commentary in their SS11 line by dishing out a bald-headed Britney tee complete with an “X” emblazoned on her forehead; making her analogous to another even more insane person, murdering cult leader Charles Manson.

 

Daniel Johnston

Esoteric American singer, songwriter, musician and artist Daniel Johnston offered his trademark zany scrawls depicting four-headed duck monsters and maimed torsos on a number of goods for the hallowed skate brand via a SS15 capsule drop (his second, actually).

Marilyn Minter

Having established her gritty aesthetic in the ’80s by appropriating images from porn and high fashion, NYC-based artist Marilyn Minter warps glam into grotesque with her hyperrealistic, ultra-zoomed photographic style. For this skate deck series launched in 2008, Supreme chose three images – a string of pearls dangling from a lipsticked mouth, a high-heeled foot splashing a dirty puddle and a piercing eye framed by blurred wet lashes – which were taken by the artist between 2005-2006.

George Condo

In case these deranged-looking illustrations look familiar, you may recall the album cover for Kanye’s 2010 LP My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; where Yeezy called upon the likes of artist George Condo to design the record’s provocative visual. One of the album’s final selections, depicting a demonic Kanye being straddled by a nude harpy, was ultimately banned from retailers, giving Supreme the perfect incentive to commission Condo to whip up a series of equally twisted images for a skate deck collection that same year.

Robert Longo

Brooklyn-born artist and painter Robert Longo rose to prominence during the ’80s with his acclaimed series “Men in the City,” a commentary on yuppie culture which depicted sharply dressed businessmen writhing in agony. His mass media-influenced work centers on stark yet powerful imagery whose emotional potency is heightened by being intentionally placed in settings which lack any sort of context. Supreme’s 2011 collaboration with the artist produced a series of skate decks which donned Longo’s signature haunting artwork, from a suited-up man being forcefully raptured to a shadowy close-up of a woman’s chest.

Chapman Brothers

English artist sibling duo Jake and Dinos Chapman’s surreal and vulgar oeuvre often explore explicit themes like Nazism, mutilation, pornography and religion, making them one of the most controversial yet revered figures within the art world since their emergence during the early ’90s. Their pairing with Supreme in 2012 resulted in a series consisting of five skate decks that drew inspiration from the brothers’ grotesque child mannequins.

Taxi Driver 

First launched in 1994 as one the brand’s first ever tees, this piece, featuring disturbed anti-hero Travis Bickle from Martin Scorsese’s visceral 1976 classic Taxi Driver, serves as a reminder of the now legendary skate brand’s “anti-establishment” origins.

Damien Hirst

Alas, yet another oddball skate deck partnership. This time around, Supreme were in cohorts with English artist Damien Hirst, who is perhaps best known for his series of artworks in which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preserved in formaldehyde. Inspired by Hirst’s experimental spin painting technique, this 2009 deck series revolved around the artist’s usual themes of death and malady.

Misfits

The forefathers of horror punk and purveyors of a logo which would be recycled throughout streetwear for years to come, Misfits have since become somewhat of an integral figure within the skate community. So, as lovers of all things macabre and skate, it was only a matter of time before Supreme decided to assemble their own personal spin on the band’s logo – inspired by the 1946 horror film The Crimson Ghost – via a versatile mix of ghoulish garms.

Three 6 Mafia

Though they’ve teetered across various rap subgenres throughout the years, diehard fans will forever remember Memphis-born hip-hop crew Three 6 Mafia (as in “666” Mafia) for their early horror-themed sound that would position them at the forefront of underground hardcore rap. To commemorate their legacy, Supreme dropped a small tee collection to accompany their FW12 drop, the creepiest member being this ’90s-style grim reaper logo which serves as the mascot for their record label, Hypnotize Minds.

Boris Vallejo

Known for his hyper-representational paintings that fuse fantasy and erotica, Peruvian artist Boris Vallejo’s work has covered dozens of science fiction paperbacks and featured in a series of glossy best-selling calendars. Subjects of his paintings often include sword and sorcery gods, busty battle-ready barbarian women and grotesque mammoth-sized beasts. Clearly peaking the interest of the imaginative streetwear mainstay, 2014 saw a set of t-shirts created in collaboration with the artist.

Sean Cliver

A Sean Cliver x Surpeme collection is nothing if not playfully deranged. The skateboarding legend and artist has lent his talents to the brand on two collaborated capsules to date (2008 and 2010), producing artwork of everything from cloaked Satan-worshipping children sacrificing an infant, to Hitler, the KKK, Blaxploitation characters and Jesus all chilling together as innocent youths.

Raymond Pettibon

In 2014, Supreme linked up with legendary punk artist Raymond Pettibon for a series of tees, hoodies and skate decks. The capsule embodied the artist’s signature grim, rebellious outlook on American youth culture by depicting recurring motifs of violence and anti-authoritarianism.

Harmony Korrine

Unorthodox visionary and skate culture icon Harmony Korine’s contribution to Supreme in 2011 came in the form of a set of skateboard decks that featured some ghostly, almost abstract portraits; correlating with the artist’s viscerally surreal aesthetic.

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