After rumors of a San Francisco Supreme store started circulating in 2017, the New York brand officially opened the doors of its latest retail outlet, marking the occasion with a private party for friends and family.
Following investment from the Carlyle Group in 2017, the expansion of Supreme’s brick and mortar stores is an ideal way of widening distribution without compromising its exclusivity and integrity. The brand is already accessible in California via its Los Angeles Fairfax shop and online webstore, so a City by the Bay store may seem like a curveball move for those who predicted a rapid post-Carlyle rapid expansion into the lucrative Asian market (particularly China), where Supreme has no official presence outside of Japan. However, with its roots as an independent skate store, San Francisco makes perfect sense.
Ever since the 1980s, San Francisco has long been considered a linchpin of the skateboarding world, thanks to the world-renowned skaters and brands that hail from the city, not to mention its legendary skate spots. The skate bible Thrasher magazine is based here, as is Deluxe Distribution, FTC, and the GX1000 skate crew. Taking all this into account, the progressive, free-thinking city seems like a natural choice for Supreme to set up shop, and now, its doors have finally opened.
Located on the slightly quieter end of downtown SF’s chaotic Market Street, the store follows the same path as Supreme’s Los Angeles and Brooklyn stores, in terms of size, scale, and layout. A simple slate grey storefront features large glass windows across the width of the building, with the iconic red Box Logo displayed front and center. Inside the store, we see the now-familiar Supreme trademarks: a smooth, skateable floor; exposed red-brick walls; impeccably folded clothing on wooden display shelves; and a trio of large “Priest” statues by long-time collaborator Mark Gonzales, painted in a tie-dye style as a homage to the city’s beatnik era.
Much like the LA and BK stores, the center of Supreme SF is the large raised wooden skate bowl at the back of the room. With the unpredictable Bay Area weather, this will become a focal point for both local crews and visiting pros, so expect to see some after-hours footage on your Instagram feed soon enough. The customary skate deck display is surrounded by a collage from artist Weirdo Dave, alongside a Mark Gonzalez mural on a large white wall. Product-wise, the new store is stocked with a selection of highlights from Supreme’s FW19 season, alongside the week’s new drop, and of course, the customary store opening Box Logo T-shirt – a black tee with San Francisco Giants-style orange logo, with the phrase “A Beautiful Place With Beautiful People” across the backprint.
Last night’s private launch party kicked off at 6 p.m., with friends and family quick to pack out the store to check out the new space. Supreme founder James Jebbia was on hand to welcome guests, many of whom had traveled far and wide to join the celebration. Most of the Supreme skate team were out in force, having attended the premiere of William Strobeck’s new SF-based video “Candyland” at a local bar the night before. Streetwear OGs Eddie Cruz, Paul Mittleman, and Tremaine Emory came through to show support, alongside some truly legendary Bay Area skateboarders like Tommy Guerrero, Julien Stranger, and John Cardiel.
The night ended with an after-party at the famous downtown club The End Up. Seemingly the Golden Gate City has firmly embraced Supreme’s new Northern Californian location.