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 Supreme release a small collection of new FW17 graphic tees, but who is the angry dude featured in the design of the ‘Decline’ tee?
The ‘Decline’ tee is a homage to The Decline of Western Civilization, a documentary on the Los Angeles hardcore punk scene that was released in 1981. Eleven years before she helmed the blockbuster comedy Wayne's World in 1992, filmmaker Penelope Spheeris produced and directed this gritty look into a subculture that was mainly ignored by the music press at the time.
The movie (part one in a trilogy of Decline documentaries) was so controversial that the LAPD Chief of Police wrote a letter to the distribution company demanding the film not to be shown again in Los Angeles. In stark contrast, the film was later selected for preservation in the United States Nation Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” in 2016.
The Supreme ’Decline’ t-shirt image of finger-flipping Black Flag frontman Ron Reyes is taken as a still from the movie where the band perform an intense rendition of "Revenge" in ode to the LAPD for shutting down their show the previous week.
Reyes was the second singer to front Black Flag (they had four in total), but his time with the band lasted less than 12 months having become disillusioned with the increasing crowd violence at their chaotic shows.
Since their inception in 1976, Black Flag have always been closely associated with the California skate scene, being part of the Thrasher Skate Rock movement in the '80s and soundtracking multiple skate videos including Santa Cruz’s legendary Streets On Fire.
The band even worked with legendary skate store Rip City Skates in Santa Monica on a series of Black Flag skate decks between 1984-85. These decks featured graphics from Raymond Pettibon (brother of Black Flag’s Greg Ginn) who has designed all of the bands artwork since the start, and would go on to work on an official collaboration capsule with Supreme as part of their FW15 season.