Supreme started as a small skate shop in New York City in 1994, before blossoming into a billion-dollar brand. Now, the streetwear mainstay has 11 stores across the globe and as loyal a fan base as you can find in fashion.
Again, founder of the brand, James Jebbia — who rarely does interviews — recently sat down with GQ to delve into the history of Supreme. “The reason that we do things the way we do is because we respect the customer,” he began before discussing the opening of the first store and its roots in skateboarding. “Probably the DNA is [still] there now, but it really was a pure New York City kind of street skating. I’ve always looked at it as, why shouldn’t we make good stuff?”
Supreme has far surpassed the expectations of a traditional skate company. Over the years the brand has collaborated with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Chanel, just to name a few, on the way to solidifying itself as a major legacy label. A steady stream of collaborations, as well as releasing product in limited quantities each week, has kept Supreme in demand year in and year out. If the brand were ever to fall out of relevancy, however, Jebbia insists it wouldn’t change a thing.
“We can just do what we’ve always done,” he said. “Which is try and be open, try and be very aware of what’s going on, and try to make the best things possible for today’s generation while keeping it true to ourselves.”
“I think that we’d have to stay the course if we’re not as hot. We’d do exactly the same stuff. We’re in the business where that can happen—it is what it is. Many brands have been through that; some come out of it, some don’t. We’d remain who we are. We wouldn’t change.”
For a deeper dive into Supreme, check below.