The streetwear brand that has flirted with luxury brands now is being acquired by a large group. With 26 years of historical partnerships such as Louis Vuitton and Comme des Garçons, Supreme came out of the crowd as a symbol of subculture and created a big fuss with its limited edition pieces. Recently acquired by the American group VF Corp, it generates speculation on what the future of the brand will be.
Supreme was founded by James Jebbia in 1994 in the hyped London neighborhood of SoHo, starting from basic ideas of streetwear style: sneakers, hoodies, and skateboard accessories… Ideas that over time have evolved to become an underground club, mixing art galleries and meeting points for creative minds.
Over the years, the red tag logo has been part of a series of partnerships that have resulted in the production of different types of objects, from lighters to biscuits, everything properly “branded” by the iconic logo. Over time, Supreme has become more than a clothing label, it is a symbol of the 90s counterculture thanks to the teenagers who wear the label, thus creating a cult.
Their secret to success? The strong connection between the brand and the customers! Supreme knows who their target is, in other words, the brand knows how to create loyal clients. Even with the brand expansion around the world, the focus has always been the same: young people who live in big cities.
As a counterculture movement, the brand maintains the concept of the exclusive club by launching limited edition pieces called “drops”, without resorting to collection launch events or any advertising about it. Those “drops” are quite revealing and create speculation about when it will happen. Exclusivity, though, is nothing new in the luxury segment. Brands generally use price to select who can and cannot wear their clothes. In this case, the selection is rather made to keep the idea of street style alive.
The streetwear market is worth millions of dollars and is attracting the attention of the big fashion groups. The acquisition by VF Corp comes with a clear goal for the brand to expand the business in the following years. This leads to a question: will the brand be able to maintain a direct connection with its niche clients who have a strong sense of exclusivity? Well, only time can answer, but there’s always a silver lining. Eventually, an expansion in sales as a consequence of the incorporation by the VF Corp can transform the brand into a more accessible item that could cause an interesting movement: a brand that somehow returns to its origin by moving from the high-class luxury segment to a more urban and street-connected item.