Supreme is just days away from opening it’s newest location in the French capital, and Business of Fashion was able to catch up with the brand’s founder James Jebbia in New York. As Supreme continues to grow, more and more fingers are being pointed at the brand in anticipation that its delicate mixture of street savviness and business acumen will eventually crumble. But no one is more aware of this balancing act than Jebbia, who takes the opportunity to talk about why he chose Paris for the brand’s new shop, and why Supreme won’t assimilate.
Check out some choice excerpts below.
Jebbia said he typically hires from Supreme’s extended community of friends and family, including professional skateboarders and artists — even customers. His approach to staffing new stores is no different. “The people I work with is what gives the store its personality,” he said. “They treat it like it’s their own.” For the shop in London, Jebbia picked 1980s skate legend Dan Jagger to be its store manager. A similar approach guided his decision to ask Samir Krim, a founder of the French skateboard company Minutia, to manage the new Paris boutique. “He’s a big part of the skate scene there,” said Jebbia. “If we didn’t have someone like Samir, we wouldn’t have opened a shop in Paris.”
“I want to do something where a young kid shopping with his parents might be like, ‘Mum, maybe you shouldn’t come in this store with me.’”
“I’ve seen a lot of brands fail because they went, ‘Hey, look, we’re from New York, and that’s what we’re all about.’ But wherever you go, people are proud of where they are,” he said. “So even though we’re from New York, what we do is a mindset: it’s got to work in Japan, in Los Angeles, London, wherever.”
Read the full interview at Business of Fashion.
- Featured Image: i-D/Vice