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.
Today sees the launch of Supreme’s collaboration with the Japanese Manga classic Akira. Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 animated movie, based on his 1982 comic, was a landmark in Japanese animation and has gone on to inspire countless aspects of modern pop culture including The Matrix, Stranger Things and the video for Kanye West’s “Stronger”.
With the collaboration officially announced on Monday you will have already had a few days to view and discuss the collection (hopefully it may have even inspired you to watch the groundbreaking movie itself) so let’s look at this week’s other, more low-key, Supreme collaboration.
Continuing their ongoing range with North Carolina underwear company Hanes, this season sees an addition to the simple white and black tagless tees and boxer shorts, with a matching set of all-over camouflage print by U.S. hunting company Realtree.
In 1984, sports and hunting enthusiast Bill Jordan started sketching his own camouflage patterns in the back room of his father’s boat dealership in Columbus, Georgia. Sketching with paper and colored pencils, Jordan believed that by layering images of twigs, leaves and bark he could create a three-dimensional appearance to blend in with a variety of natural surroundings.
Having debuted his first Realtree camouflage (originally the pattern name and the brand name were the same) at the SHOT Show in 1986, he met up with Wally Switzer from Wal-Mart to strike up a groundbreaking licensing deal to produce his unique designs.
Over the following 20 years, Realtree grew from strength to strength with the introduction of multiple exclusive high definition camouflage patterns including the Brown-Leaf, Grey-Leaf, All-Purpose (Brown & Grey), MAX-1 and MAX-5, all purposely designed for a range of different activities and terrains.
The exact pattern used on the Supreme/Hanes garments is the Realtree Xtra camouflage which is one of several signature designs from the outdoor brand. Launched in 2013, the Xtra stands for “extra effectiveness” in the field as the pattern is designed to blend perfectly all-year round in a variety of habitats, from the leaf change of fall through winter, then again in early spring.
A breakthrough in camouflage patterns, the Realtree Xtra design includes tree trunks, large and small limbs, leaves of many types and colors, with large open areas creating a foreground, mid-ground, and background.
Mostly used on hunting outerwear and headwear, it seems strange to see this pattern on undergarments (unless you’re planning on making a swift exit from somewhere you’re not supposed to be and have to hide out in the bushes in just your underwear) but that’s just Supreme – expect the unexpected!
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