Nonfiction

A Supreme Obsession

By Jack Sutton

There I was, eyes on the clock, 10:59 on a Thursday. I sat there, nervously picking at the skin on my thumbs, or whatever was left of it. My tabs were open, and I was ready. What I awaited was the drop. I knew the items would sell out instantly, but I was confident. I glanced at the clock: 11 am it read. I was late by just a few seconds, and to my dismay, everything was already sold out. I slouched, disappointed yet again on a Thursday morning. By what? Supreme.

Founded in 1994 by James Jebbia in New York, Supreme quickly garnered a reputation for their famous red box logo. They started as a skateboarding brand and have stayed true to this, but in recent years, have directed their focus to clothing. It was around the late 2000’s to early 2010’s that they began to limit production. In doing so, demand increased, which made the brand far more desirable. Because of how popular the brand had become and its limited production, pieces of clothing began to sell out and were discontinued afterward. This introduced a market of reselling, where those who were able to purchase the pieces of clothing sold them afterwards for a much higher price. An example of prime reselling would be the classic box-logo. When the plain logo would appear on a shirt or hoodie, fans would line up hours before the store opened to try and buy it. For retail, a box logo hoodie would cost you 180 dollars. However, for resale, you’d be spending up to 1100.

Today, Supreme releases clothing on a seasonal basis, similar to designer brands. Regardless of the season (Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer) they open stores around the world every Thursday at 11am local time. However, what really showcases the level of popularity and hype around the brand are the online drops and releases. On Thursday at 11am precisely, the online store opens and the latest pieces are sold out in seconds. In fact, in 2017, average sell-out times ranged from 10-20 seconds. All this does is increase the aforementioned desirability of the brand for future releases, and this is exactly what Jebbia wants.

Supreme is not only known for the limited production and incredibly quick sell-out times. They’re also consumerism masterminds. After years of building the reputation and desirability of the brand, they began to release incredibly unconventional items such as crowbars, fire-extinguishers, shovels and much more. They have the power to do so, because they know that customers are paying for the brand name. As expected with Supreme, these items too, along with the clothing, sell out almost instantly and are resold over and over again, going from one collector to another. When asked why they buy these items, collectors everywhere all respond with the same answer, “because it’s Supreme.”

For the years to come, I doubt that Supreme will ever lose popularity. They are business savvy and certainly know how to sell their products. If you’re a parent who happens to be reading this article, and you suspect your son may be interested in Supreme, consider buying him something, as it may be more of an investment than you could ever imagine.

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