The History of Supreme

 

Supreme is an American skateboarding shop and clothing brand established in New York City in April 1994.The designer brand caters to the skateboarding, hip hop, and rock cultures, as well as to the youth culture in general. The designer brand produces clothes and accessories and also manufactures skateboards. Its shoes, clothing, and accessories are sold extensively in the secondary market.

 

The distinctive red box logo with "Supreme" in white Futura Heavy Oblique is largely based on Barbara Kruger's propaganda art.

 

The brand was founded by James Jebbia. Although he was born in the United States, he lived in England until he was 19. Jebbia has no title within the company.

 

The first Supreme store opened in an old office space on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan in April 1994.It was designed with skaters in mind with a unique design for the store layout: by arranging the clothes around the perimeter of the store, a large central space permitted skaters with backpacks to skate into the store and still feel comfortable. This store had its core group of skaters who served as its team in 1994, which included late actors Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter, and the first employees were extras from the Larry Clark film Kids.

 

In 2004, a second location was opened on North Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles, California, which is nearly double the size of the original New York City store and features an indoor skate bowl. Other locations include Paris Opening in March 2016, London Opening in September 2011, Tokyo (Harajuku, Daikanyama and Shibuya), Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. The additional locations emulate the original Lafayette Street store's design; stores feature rotating art displays, and use videos and music to attract attention.

 

Supreme stocks its own clothing label, as well as other skateboard brands such as Vans, Nike SB, Spitfire, Thrasher and Girl Distribution Company, among others. James Jebbia was quoted in saying that anything that Supreme releases will never be classified as "limited," but notes that they make short runs of their products because they "don't want to get stuck with stuff nobody wants."

 

On October 5, 2017, Supreme opened their 11th store—the second one in New York City—in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. On October 6, 2017, James Jebbia confirmed that the label had sold a significant stake in the company of roughly 50% (around $500 million) to private equity firm The Carlyle Group.

 

Supreme plans on opening its 12th store, on Market Street in San Francisco, in early 2019.