- You heard me right the first time, and I’ll say it again. Supreme sucks. It always has, and it always will. Sure, streetwear brands are at the height of ‘cool’ right now, and Supreme is undoubtedly the cream of that crop, but I stand by my point.
I live in London; a twenty-minute walk away from the Supreme store in Soho at that, and I’ve seen my fair share of hardcore skaters, moneyed Chinese tourists, and drooling streetwear collectors lining up for miles round the corner to the Supreme store early on a Thursday morning as they gear up for the launch of a new collection. People actually used to sleep on the streets round Soho on Wednesday nights in anticipation of a launch, and the only reason why they aren’t doing it still now is because Westminster City Council got so annoyed they’re cracking down on anyone they see on the streets there, $500 Supreme box logo hoodie fanatic or not. But it doesn’t take much consideration to realise that you could be spending all your hard-earned cash on more fashionable and/or durable clothes, instead of that plain white t-shirt with only the inside tee tag being the one indication that it’s from Supreme.
I know, I know. You’re hurt. You need time to process this. You’re probably questioning my credibility as a streetwear connoisseur this very minute – in which case I will have you know I am sat here writing this post in a threadbare Thrasher shirt I’ve had for years and some beat up Vans; skrrt skrrt, my friend. Or, maybe you’re angry. You need me to explain myself. Well, I’ll gladly do so. You need reasons why Supreme is overrated beyond belief? Here they are.
You will never be able to afford Supreme clothing.
Unless, of course, you or your parents are absolutely loaded and/or have a machine stashed somewhere in your backrooms that is steadily printing money. If that’s the case, well, good for you – though I do think there are much better things that you could be spending mummy and daddy’s hard-earned money on, like a life coach who will get your priorities straight for you. But if you’re an average kid like me who can only afford to eat sushi when it’s going for half-price before the store closes and who bought their Lord Nermal phone case from a dodgy old woman in Thailand, you know that anything Supreme is just leagues out of your price range. With a box logo crew neck jumper going for $600, a plain black beanie going at $75, and collaborations with brands like Nike SB going for the price of a plane ticket from Bangkok to London, you’re better off heading to Sports Direct for some equally plain and functional clothes that don’t cost an arm, a leg, and your mother’s soul.
Even if you can afford Supreme, you will never be able to actually buy Supreme clothing.
If you live in a city with a Supreme store in it, you’ll only ever be able to get that Morrissey t-shirt or that Comme des Garçons collab piece if you wake up at 4AM on a Thursday morning and line up round the block along with all the other half-asleep teenage hypebeasts sporting empty carrier bags and $300 vintage sneakers. And even if you’re in the line, don’t kid yourself. The new-money Chinese tourist in front of you with the BAPE hoodie and the wallet full of freshly-changed currency will beat you to everything you wanted in the store, and will whip your sorry ass if you even dare lecture them about how bulk buying makes it unfair for the rest of the people in line. If you don’t live in a city with a Supreme store in it, I hate to break it to you, but you will probably never ever touch a piece of Supreme clothing in your lifetime unless you buy it off eBay at five times the already ridiculous original price. The Supreme online store sells out within milliseconds, and there are actually people out there who pay hundreds of dollars for tech wizards to program them a bot that will buy them their Supreme hoodie of choice the minute it appears online. Can you compete with all that? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Supreme clothing is just gimmicky.
Anyone who has ever used Photoshop in their lives will be able to tell you that the Supreme logo – the brand’s very selling point – can be put together in about ninety seconds, including the time taken out halfway through to sit there and sigh and wonder why people pay top dollar for this shit. I could take my best Gildan Heavy Cotton shirt and print off “Supreme” in Medium Italic Futura backed by a red rectangle and have my very own homemade Supreme togs. “But what about Supreme’s collaborations with musicians and pop culture icons?” I hear you cry. “I want a shirt with Gucci Mane flashing his grills on it too!” Now stop and listen to yourself. At the end of the day, that’s what Supreme’s output mostly boils down to – using celebrity culture against you, or using their own overly-hyped image to convince insecure wannabe Cool Guys and Girls that spending $200 on a shirt will tell everyone that you’re in with the kids. News flash: Money doesn’t buy you friends, and neither does Supreme clothing.
Remember the Supreme brick?
If you’re one of those people who thinks Supreme is not actually a brand but a “long-term conceptual art project about consumerism,” give me a few minutes to stop laughing before I continue. Supreme founder James Jebbia and his crew are shitting money, and they know it. They also know that they can use high-brow opinions like that to ensure that Supreme-heads out there would climb over each other’s dead bodies to buy anything that the brand puts out, including (but not limited to) an actual brick. For those of you not in the know, I didn’t make a typo. Supreme have put out a literal brick with the brand logo on it, which is good for nothing apart from either sitting there, serving as one of many as part of a wall, or being thrown at the heads of the idiots who are dumb enough to pay $1,000 to buy it off eBay resellers. There are actual essays floating around out there speculating on why the Supreme brick has been made, but if you think that reason is anything other than “because they can,” you need to wake up, sheeple. Altruism is dead, Theresa May is still Prime Minister, and the Supreme brick is the new height of fashion because this is what happens when people throw silly money at other people for no good reason.
You either buy Supreme because you want to be a special snowflake…
Let’s face it, that’s what you hypebeasts really are at heart. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, a consumer psychologist at University College London, says, “We collect articles or resources to survive, but survival doesn’t only rest upon what we need physically. We need, psychologically, to distinguish ourselves. In the past, tribes would decorate themselves with feathers or precious stones to set them apart from other tribe members and attract potential mates. In the same way, collecting Supreme really allows people to build their identities with rare objects.” And this is what your buzz-fuelled obsession with Supreme really is. Human nature is making a bigger fool out of you than most, because you think that being at the head of the table boils down to owning that Supreme x Playboy collab tee. Seriously, if you want to distinguish yourself, just get a tattoo instead.
… or you’re a scalper, aka free market cancer…
Come on, man. If you’re actually going to buy Supreme, don’t bloody resell it at ten times the price. You hurt the brand, you hurt the honest folk who actually want to buy Supreme to keep it for themselves, and you hurt the free market. It’s also just an insult to the people who stand in line when you emerge triumphant from the Black Friday-esque mess that is a Supreme store on Thursdays and attempt to palm off your newly-gotten goods at ridiculous prices that not even people who buy retail-price Supreme could afford. You are of the same ilk who made last year’s Radiohead tickets sell out in two seconds only to reappear online at £1,500, and I’m just going to let you know now that there’s a place in hell reserved especially for people like you. You’re also one of the reasons that Supreme keeps its place at the top of its game in spite of the brand having almost no redeeming features in its output whatsoever, because you just don’t know when to stop cranking up the prices and contributing to the hype. Good job, kid. I hope you cry yourself to sleep when you find out all those piles of money don’t make a very good bed to sleep on.
… or you’re just a corny Internet fuckboy.
If you’re a scalper, you’re a different level of douchebag altogether, but this one is for all of you who are under the impression that girls will want to date you because you listen to Young Thug while sporting that Supreme washed twill camp cap. Fun fact (and this might come as a revelation for some of you): Girls don’t give a fuck if that plain white t-shirt you’re wearing is from Supreme, or from the night market down the road. Girls like people who respect them, tag them in good memes, and occasionally buy them pizza and/or hummus. We aren’t animals. We don’t need Supreme-branded plumage to attract mates. Maybe if you spent less time forking out money on overrated clothing and more time on honing your social skills, you’d understand.
You can make your own Supreme stuff for a tenth of the price.
My boy TabaskoSweet says it best in this video. But seriously, if my friends can swallow their pride and get their Anti Social Social Club gear for $5 off some dodgy TaoBao pirate gear retailer, so can you. Mind over matter, as they say. It’s all there is to it.
Even after all this is said and done, dear reader, you and I both know that there’s one overarching reason why Supreme may not suck that much after all. I’m guilty of it every time I spend the pay I work my ass off for on one, flat-colour box-logo hoodie that I end up still seeing in my dreams weeks after paying an innocent visit to the Supreme store. You’re guilty of it too, if you were even remotely offended by the headline. So let’s admit it.
You, and I, and everyone else who’s a fan of Supreme, will keep buying Supreme.
Supreme is a brand that was built on hype, and thrives off the buzz that still surrounds it today, more than twenty years after it was founded. For some, it’s a status symbol, like what designer handbags are to mums – why they think that way is beyond me, but everything is subjective, and this mentality will remain prevalent in society so long as people like the Kardashians can continue to make money off doing nothing at all. For others, collecting buzz brands like Supreme is a hobby, the same way some older folks collect stamps or antique coins, and will fork out thousands of dollars for one piece of old currency. And for people like you and me, Supreme is one of those things we grew up hearing about and got into along the way, because if everyone’s talking about it, surely we need to as well.
Supreme is one of those brands that is enjoying the success it currently has because it was founded by the right people (skaters) in the right part of New York (the very fashionable Lower Manhattan), and found the right fanbase (fashion idols like Drake, the Kardashians, and Kanye West). They’ll continue riding this wave so long as we live in a capitalist society, where celebrities rule the world and you’re considered part of an “in crowd” if you’re okay with throwing away $800 on a Supreme parka. You know it, I know it, and the people who design for Supreme have this fact burned into the backs of their brains. This is just the world we live in. Sad, I know. But since there’s nothing much we can do about it, I’m going back to the Supreme store and succumbing to my desire to get that £65 box-logo hoodie.
The conclusion? Supreme is overrated. Long live Supreme.
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