Supreme’s design ethos is pretty simple. The brand looks back to street culture’s beloved ’90s golden era, and elevates historical classics by giving them little je ne sais quoi. One of the brand’s favorite design moves, along with massive logos, swearwords and weirdo artist collabs, is leopard print.
For its SS17 linkup with Vans, Supreme splashes leopard print all over the Sk8-Mid Pro.
Let’s be clear here: there are tons of leopard-patterned Supreme pieces out there. There’s leopard print bucket hats, scarves, tees, hoodies and caps. It’s been used on the linings of coats, the collars of shirts and even on the pockets of jeans. Try having a look on Grailed or SupTalk if you want to dip your toes into the brand’s deep archive of animal-patterned pieces.
With the Vans collab dropping today, here’s a look back at ten of Supreme’s dopest leopard-inspired pieces.
For further Supreme history, check out their 50 best accessories over the years.
Supreme x The North Face Nuptse Jacket — Fall/Winter 2011
Supreme’s collaborations with The North Face are legendary. Season after season, the duo churn out outerwear and accessories that send streetwear fans crazy, and some of the most iconic — and expensive — of those streetwear bangers are FW11’s Nuptse jackets.
As well as the trio of puffers, the pair dropped three matching “Rolling Thunder” travel bags, and you guessed it, the entire collab was covered in leopard print. Drake wore one of the Nuptses in his video for “The Motto,” and the jackets have gone on to be some of Supreme’s most coveted pieces, reaching well into the thousands of dollars on the resell market.
Supreme x Levi’s — Fall/Winter 2012
Back in 2012, Supreme linked with Levi’s for a collab that combined Americana classics with sexed-up furry detailing. Trucker jackets and jeans were produced in black, rigid indigo and white denim, elevated with some dope contrasting details — how sick is that jacket’s lining? — and topped off with a hairy belt and some sadly leopard-less western shirts.
Knitted Vest — Spring/Summer 2016
Supreme’s SS16 lineup included this knitted vest, for the sort of nostalgic ’70s vibes that wouldn’t look out of place on a Saint Laurent runway or Tarantino film. Sure, it’s not the easiest piece to pull off, but Supreme always includes some weirdo pieces to challenge the more adventurous streetwear heads.
Here, Supreme’s guy has the vest layered over a black tee, with some black-as-the-night shades and gold jewelry. Sick.
Faux Fur Coat — Spring/Summer 2016
Also from SS16, this faux-fur coat nods to the star of one of Supreme’s most iconic campaigns: Kate Moss. Supreme shot the modeling legend for the SS12 installment of its annual wheat-paste poster campaign, donning a Box Logo tee, nonchalant gaze, half-smoked cigarette and a leopard-patterned faux fur coat. The image also appeared on a grail-worthy T-shirt, and Moss’s iconic coat was resurrected by the brand four years later.
M-51 Jacket — Spring/Summer 2010
Dropped back in SS10, this M-51 field jacket mixed a German-style flecktarn pattern with wild leopard spots, elevating the army surplus classic into a sexed-up streetwear banger in true Supreme style.
Drake also donned this one back when he was all baby-faced, this time on the “Away From Home” tour in 2010.
“Tyler” Camp Cap — Fall/Winter 2011
Tyler the Creator’s appearance at the 2011 MTV Awards was one of the biggest streetwear moments of the decade. The underground rapper was thrown into the spotlight, taking his favorite brand’s logo with him and signaling the dawn of a new era for Supreme. This was the beginning of a new chapter for the brand: over the next few years it would, slowly but surely, transition from a niche underground label into the most talked-about clothing line on planet earth.
Unsurprisingly, the hat Tyler wore on the day ended up going for hundreds on the resell market — although the 5-panel craze has died down significantly since then, so you can probably snap one up for much less these days.
Highsnobiety‘s never-ending fountain of Supreme knowledge, Ross Wilson, assures me that leopard-patterned caps have been in Supreme collections since ’97, so there’s plenty more options lurking out there if you’re looking hard enough.
Timberland Field Boots — Fall/Winter 2006
From way back in ’06, Supreme’s first collab with Timberland was a glorious collision of rugged utility and flamboyant steez. ’Preme took Timberland’s dadcore classic, the Field boot, and outfitted it with a furry leopard collar and a trio of awkward-but-amazing colorways. Just look at them. Amazing.
Supreme’s Timberland collabs have sadly never reached such glorious heights since. These days it’s more about subtly-embossed leather than wild explosions of color and fur. RIP.
Towel — Fall/Winter 2009
As seen on A$AP Rocky’s head on many occasions. This piece actually came free with the Supreme Book Vol. 5, back when the brand produced rare publications, and made it into Ross’s list of the 50 best Supreme accessories of all time. There’s one going on Grailed if you don’t mind dropping $110 on a towel.
Skate Decks — Fall/Winter 2009
The same season, Supreme draped the pattern over a pair of skate decks, and two cruisers. As is the case with all Supreme decks, these were strictly limited edition, so if they’ve not been skated to death they’re probably hanging up on a wall somewhere.
For more Supreme history, check out Ross’s interview with Alex Corporan, Supreme’s OG store manager from back in the ’90s.