Whenever Supreme release a new season preview, it’s usually the accessories range that creates the most discussion — it’s an ever-evolving collection of random items emblazoned with the infamous Box Logo, from bricks to bolt cutters, flashlights to fire extinguishers. These seemingly obscure objects in fact all have a legitimate connection to the brand and it’s tight-knit crew.
Following on from the FW16 “Longevity” soup set which consisted of a traditional Chinese “Health and Longevity” soup/rice bowl and spoon, Supreme are continuing the Asian kitchenware theme by releasing a Box Logo-adorned sake set and enamel chopsticks.
Supreme has a long-standing relationship with Japan that dates back to the mid ’90s — many credited Japanese early adopters as a driving force behind the NY brand’s cult success. It wasn’t long before Supreme embraced its huge Asian following by opening their first Japanese store in Tokyo’s Daikanyama neighborhood in 1998, followed by a further five retail outlets in the land of the rising sun.
Japanese Otaku culture thrives on authenticity, and Supreme has often embraced this ethos via collaborations with Toshio Maeda, Sasquatchfabrix and Takashi Murakami. They have also released Japanese-exclusive items, printed Supreme e-MOOK magazines especially for the Japanese market, and shoot their seasonal lookbooks in Tokyo with Japanese photographers. Back in 2011, the brand paid tribute to the victims of the Tōhoku earthquake with a special edition charity Box Logo t-shirt. To say Japan is close to the heart of Supreme is an understatement, so producing Japanese-themed everyday items is a natural fit for the brand.
Another influence in this particular product choice is a little closer to Supreme’s downtown Manhattan base. One of Supreme’s close neighbors was the Pearl River Mart store, which sadly had to close in March 2016 after a massive rent hike, before it eventually relocated in Tribeca nine months later. For 45 years Pearl River Mart was an NYC institution, with an iconic 30,000 square foot Broadway store providing New Yorkers with a huge range of Chinese, Japanese and Korean products. In this treasure trove of authentic Asian goods you could find apparel, stationary, art, toys, homeware and a huge selection of traditional crockery, cutlery and dining utensils. Positioned right between Supreme’s Soho store and head office, the collections that filled the old Pearl River Mart have no doubt provided Supreme with inspiration for years to come.
Needless to say, the enamel chopsticks and ceramic sake set were instant sell-outs on Supreme’s EU webstore earlier today, with sell out times of 23s and 75s respectively, according to @supreme_leaks_news.
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