From Morrissey and Black Sabbath to Gucci Mane and Neil Young, Supreme’s artist collaborations reach far and wide on the genre spectrum and are near always unexpected…yet almost never explained.
The conundrum that shrouds each wildcard collaboration paired with the consumerist frenzy that follows suit continues to leave heads turning, with many wondering whether these capsules come from pure intentions or if they’re simply humorous marketing ploys.
Yet despite the cynicism, Supreme’s musical partnerships are pretty much always guaranteed to be a hit; the potency of the brand’s fandom leads many to scoop up these collections at breakneck speed while oftentimes having minimal knowledge of the singers or bands that are affiliated with them.
Sure, it’s always annoying to spot someone frivolously wearing a T-shirt from a group that might have played a key role in your coming of age (sorry, but the “because it looked cool” response is NEVER admissible), but on the other hand, the brand’s popularity has the ability to introduce many younger fans to artists whom they didn’t know about before.
Today marks the release of Supreme’s 12-piece capsule collection created in partnership with iconic thrash metal band Slayer, and while we already know what hardcore fans of the band think of the collaboration, I reached out to some avid Supreme shoppers to see what they had to say and find out whether they’ll be copping.
Would you consider yourself a Slayer fan? (If so, for how long?)
Tareq Q, @kickstq: No.
Matt Shiho, @mattshiho: Yes, I have been a fan of Slayer for about 15 years.
Dom Wallace, @dom.wallace: I’m not a diehard Slayer fan, but I do like them – my dad listens to a lot of punk and thrash metal, so I grew up listening to a lot of this kind of music. I have a copy of Reign in Blood somewhere, but it doesn’t get listened to a whole lot if I’m honest.
Samuil Tatchev, @tatchev: No, not into thrash metal in general.
George Ocampo, @georgeoguapo: No, I’m not.
Will you be copping the collection?
Tareq Q, @kickstq: No.
Matt Shiho, @mattshiho: I am likely going to pass on the collection. I may cop the sweats or a hoodie but otherwise I’m not really willing so spend money on the higher-priced items.
Dom Wallace, @dom.wallace: I might grab a T-shirt, but I’m undecided at the moment – depends on when I wake up on Thursday! I quite like the cutter tee, so I might grab that. The sweater was a bit of a letdown though, very unimaginative.
Samuil Tatchev, @tatchev: No. It’s cool, but it doesn’t fit my style.
George Ocampo, @georgeoguapo: Nope.
Do you think it matters whether or not someone is a fan of Slayer for them to want to buy it?
Tareq Q, @kickstq: Yes.
Matt Shiho, @mattshiho: I don’t think it matters if you like Slayer to wear a Slayer x Supreme collab. Some people who wear Jordans don’t like basketball. It’s all in the appeal of the product, as long as you appreciate the origin of the art.
Dom Wallace, @dom.wallace: Personally, I don’t think it matters if you’re a fan of Slayer or not. I don’t care if you wanna rock a T-shirt that means nothing to you. It’s whatever. However, that doesn’t mean I understand it! It’d be like me rocking up in a Chelsea football jersey even though I don’t watch football or care about it. I don’t think it actually matters though, people will always do what they wanna do.
Samuil Tatchev, @tatchev: Of course it matters. In my opinion it takes more than aesthetics to wear somebody’s name, art , quote etc. on your chest. Recently I saw Jake Phelps’ comment on Justin Bieber and Rihanna wearing Thrasher garments, to me it’s similar with the whole hype around the metal merch looks – nothing to do with mainstream streetwear culture. It takes out all personality from the way you dress and makes you look stupid for representing something that isn’t in any way connected to you.
George Ocampo, @georgeoguapo: YES. Collaborations like these are a part of what make Supreme great, but they get lost when they get purchased without any awareness or appreciation of what the collaboration actually is.
What do you think is the most “hype” piece from the collection?
Tareq Q, @kickstq: Don’t know. Haven’t seen it.
Matt Shiho, @mattshiho: I would say the arctic camo jacket with the eagle patch on the back is the most hyped item from the collection. The black and white camo perfectly complements the raw vibe surrounding Slayer.
Dom Wallace, @dom.wallace: Honestly, I couldn’t say. I assume the T-shirts will sell out first but that’s mainly because of the lower price points compared to the jacket, for example. I think the snow camo jacket is the best piece, but I think it’ll sit for a while as it’ll be expensive in comparison to a £38 T-shirt.
Samuil Tatchev, @tatchev: The M-65 jacket. All the other garments are pretty much basics with prints, I definitely see the jacket as a standout piece. The tees will also sell out pretty fast because of their affordability. If I were a Slayer fan I’d definitely go for the sweater tho.
Georgeo Ocampo, @georgeoguapo: The camo parka is fire.
Does the collaboration make sense for Supreme? Does it need to make sense in the end?
Tareq Q, @kickstq: Although it’s ultimately a skate brand that represents the streets and urban culture, it doesn’t necessarily have to make sense if they want to collaborate with a heavy metal band.
Matt Shiho, @mattshiho: I think it’s a smart collab for Supreme. They’ve taken a well known band with an extremely loyal following/fan base that also happens to have a very recognizable logo (much like Supreme). combining these two forces seems like a brilliant idea. The collab doesn’t necessarily have to make sense – art and fashion don’t always make sense.
Dom Wallace, @dom.wallace: I think the collaboration makes sense for sure. Slayer are a fairly iconic band, with their logo being used by high-street shops in almost a pop-art manner. They’re metal giants, part of the “Big Four” in metal, and it makes just as much sense as the Dead Kennedys collaboration, for example.
Samuil Tatchev, @tatchev: Supreme’s collaborations are always well thought out and always hold a statement. The brand makes no compromise when choosing who to collaborate with and Supreme’s collaborators are usually well-respected artists and brands that have proven themselves to be rather influential than influenced.
Slayer is iconic for the ’80 and ’90s generations and their violent lyrics correspond well with Supreme’s rebellious youth. Supreme was never about being the last word in fashion and never asked to be the center of attention. To the people who understand it, it’s self-explanatory.
George Ocampo, @georgeoguapo: Absolutely, but it doesn’t always need to make sense. In fact, that’s what keeps things interesting.
What band would you like to see Supreme do a collaboration with?
Tareq Q, @kickstq: Rage Against The Machine.
Matt Shiho, @mattshiho: I would love to see Supreme collab with Red Hot Chili Peppers. I think the potential demographic for a project like that would be massive and I think the actual collection itself would be complete fire.
Dom Wallace, @dom.wallace: I’d love to see a Rage Against The Machine collaboration. They embody the whole “fuck the system” attitude that Supreme wears so well, along with the political awareness and “no fucks given” style. Plus their music is killer, there’s no denying that. Following that, Gorillaz I guess.
Samuil Tatchev, @tatchev: I would love to see Supreme go in the direction of electronic music for a collaboration in the future.
George Ocampo, @georgeoguapo: If they ever did something with Tyler, The Creator it would be lit.