If you find yourself walking through the streets of SoHo and stumble across a queue of hundreds of young people eagerly awaiting something, you might assume a movie star or singer is in the vicinity. However, the more plausible answer, is that you’ve stumbled across a Supreme shop.
Instantly recognisable (whether you’re a fashion fanatic or not), with its red box logo framing the brands name, Supreme has been going since the 90’s, but catapulted to cult-like fame in the last ten years. Starting as a brand catering to skateboarders, it has since moved on to become the biggest streetwear brand in the world. But how did the brand evolve to create such an extreme following, with incomparable ‘hype’ surrounding the release of new items of clothing?
In the age of engagement, where nothing is more important than the relationship between brand and consumer, Supreme do not adhere to the rules. With very little communication with shoppers, and making their loyal fans queue for hours on end to spend hundreds of pounds on a jumper, the brand has created an elusiveness and exclusivity that leaves people wanting more. The excitement that accompanies waiting to see if you have managed to score an item from their extremely small collections, and the novelty of something being limited edition (a concept which continues to grow in popularity), has struck a chord with modern shoppers.
In fact, the brand has such a loyal following that people can make careers out of reselling items online. You can now even purchase bots that will add items to baskets the second they drop on the website, or hire someone to wait outside the shop in your place
Some of their releases appear to taunt their devoted fans and expose the extremes people will go to in order to own something from the brand. A key example of this is the Supreme branded brick they sold in 2016, where for $30, fans could order a clay brick that had the brands logo embossed on the front. As you can imagine they sold out in minutes, with people jumping to resell them on eBay for up to $1000. All for a brick. To cater to the hoards of queuing fans, many of whom wait overnight, Supreme branded sleeping bags and water bottles have been released, making it even clearer for anyone walking past exactly what people are waiting for.
In the age of sustainability, with an emphasis on reducing waste, something has to be said for the lack of discarded clothes the company produces, with no leftover stock coming as a result of their limited drops. Whilst fashion insiders might turn their nose up at the brand, Supreme has collaborated with some of the biggests names in the industry, from Nike to Louis Vuitton, showing that it has its feet firmly planted on the streetwear scene. What could be next for the brand: Supreme furniture or Supreme cars? Either way there is no doubt that their loyal following will be ready to snap it up the second it comes out.