If you’re a hardcore Supreme fan, and have been following their rise since the mid ’90s, you’ll know that the brand is not just a streetwear label for hype heads and fashion-conscious teens, but also a very important element in culture. When Supreme first launched, its debut coincided with the arrival of the iconic Kids movie, both going on to shape generations of outliers and rebels to society. If you know the brand well you know that it’s super rare to get any insight into the brand’s story from founder, James Jebbia, but in a new GQ piece by Noah Johnson, he does just that.
“The reason that we do things the way we do is because we respect the customer,” said Jebbia, by way of “an in-house interlocutor,” said of the brand’s strategy when it comes to drops. Kids writer, Harmony Korine, went on to recall the influence for the team in their early days as being more comparable to a “raw” hangout than a traditional business, with Jebbia pointing that “true skaters” were the most frequent customers to the original New York site. “They would wear cool shit; they wouldn’t wear skate clothes,” Jebbia said. “It would be Polo, it would be a Gucci belt, it would be Champion. We made what we really liked. And it kind of was a gradual thing. From a few tees, a few sweats, a pair of cargo pants, a backpack. But the influence was definitely the young skaters in New York.” Jebbia also pointed to Japan and London as influential geographic locations. When it came to noting specific brands as a source of influence, Jebbia was quick to mention that Helmut Lang was “really important, personally” at the time to him. Nowadays, Jebbia and the brand are said to be inspired by the “open-mindedness of young people,” saying how they’re “not stuck in a box.” The full GQ article is here, and if you’re interested you should definitely give it a read.