The Supreme Weekly is a regular column examining and breaking down the influences behind the brand’s weekly drops, courtesy of our resident Supreme expert, Ross Wilson.

This week Supreme continue their decade-long relationship with San Francisco outerwear giants The North Face, by releasing a small capsule of premium cowhide and lambskin leather products including jackets, gloves and luggage.

Throughout the pair’s ten-year history, Supreme has produced multiple incarnations of some of The North Face’s most beloved jackets, including the Summit, Denali, Expedition Pullover, Mountain Parka, Windbreaker, Venture Parka, Expedition Coach, Dot Shot Parka, Mountain Pullover, Steep Tech Jacket, Trans Antarctica Expedition Pullover and Polartech Fleece Jacket.

Making its fifth Supreme appearance this week is the fan-favorite Nuptse, one of The North Face’s most iconic and best-selling styles. The packable puffa may have been originally engineered for scaling a cliff face, but its style status was cemented on the streets of New York City as an ideal layer to combat unforgiving East Coast winters. With the icy chill of the Hudson River running through its avenues, the city can become unbearably cold during January and February, so the Nuptse’s simple styling and 700-fill goose down insulation ensured it quickly became a NY staple, alongside Timberland 6-inch boots, Karl Kani jeans and oversized Polo Sport sweatshirts.

“Take her Gucci bag and her North Face off her back.” — Notorious B.I.G. “Dead Wrong”

Supreme has previously draped the Nuptse in leopard, leaf camo and rabbit fur, patterns, but this season’s rendition of the jacket sidelines slogans and prints for a luxurious cowhide leather shell in single block colours and black accents. If the Nuptse ruled the New York streets throughout the ‘90s, then leather down jackets reigned supreme during East Coast Hip Hop’s early years in the ’80s.

Just check out Glen E. Friedman’s iconic black and white portraits of Run DMC hanging out in Queens, or photographer Jamel Shabazz’s street style images in such books as Back in the Days and you’ll see the leather jacket rocked alongside Kangol hats, gold ropes and adidas Superstars. Supreme originally paid tribute to this OG style with the release of their own leather down jacket back in 2004, and came complete with detachable furry hood.

With a thousand-dollar price tag, this latest Nuptse jacket may not be accessible to every Supreme fan out there, but it’s a straight-up, old skool New York vibe, fusing the decades that defined East Coast hip-hop style.

For more Supreme nostalgia, check out our interview with the guys who produced the brand’s clothing in the ’90s.

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Words by Ross Wilson

Author of Highsnobiety’s regular column “The Supreme Weekly,” Ross has been down with the NY crew since 1994 and has extensive knowledge of the brand’s influences and references.

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