Every season I look forward to the new Supreme release which gives a strong direction of the market. This year it came a week early and I was in Japan directing films at the time. I heard the lineups were more intense than ever before, wrapping all the way around the Lafayette block. I saw and heard about bits and pieces of the collection before the release, and was even given a couple things ahead of time. But I really love the way James (Jebbia) merchandises the store, so when I got back to New York I was really excited to physically check out what wasn't already sold out. And yes, there was still a queue of buyers over a week after the initial Spring 2012 release.
Simply stated, Supreme makes classics with a twist. If you look at the details you'll see the subtle nuances. Why I love the brand and the clothing so much is it's never over designed. They never really flex by adding a non-utilitarian detail but more by creating an interesting fabrication or reference. This season there are many classics that I'm really into with the Supreme touch...
You see, if you pay attention to the details then you start to understand, not only the humor, but the direction Supreme takes the market in without even really trying. And I don't mean not working hard. In fact, quite the opposite. They just do what they feel. And that's how they've become my generation's most important brand.
But if you look further into the pieces on a higher cultural level, which transcends skate, fashion, etc., then you start to see the brand how I see the brand. Of course I'm given a little insight into the design process and consciousness of the DNA that is Supreme by the designers and directors behind the line. As well as through the films we occasionally collaborate on.
But I objectively look at this stuff. I fucking love gear to a fault. I actually might have a serious problem. (Note to self). And I study it, much how one would study film or art. For better or worse that's how I look at most things. I have a certain respect for it so that's the energy I give back to it.
At moments it has very little to do with the actual clothing. The greats don't just put something out and hope it sells. They're in touch with something that is inexplicable, never tangible, and always on. Some call it a pulse, others call it cool, I simply call it Supreme. So where are we and where is the brand taking us?...
Field Jacket in Khaki African Camouflage with Enamel Pin
Four Pocket Safari Shirt in Camouflage
Arabic Logo Deck
It's exotic, it's exploration, it's dangerous, it's militant, it's revolution, it's travel, it's youth... And has everything to do with the global world and nothing to do with the insular bubble that is downtown New York City... But at the same time it is so New York. It's everything that New York represents... The clashing of cultures, the discordance of economic classes, the aspiration of something better, the melting pot of a heterogeneous society. This isn't intellectualism of a brand. This is very real. And whether it's thought out in design strategy or "just happens" you can't deny its relevance. To simply call this "streetwear" and not significant cultural direction is laughable.
Maybe because there's no runway show during fashion week there's a false sense of insignificance. But these staples, these dialogue pieces, these items of the now, are the future of the youth and style. It's global. It's aware. It's power.
The epitomical genius of Supreme is taking something classic like a camp cap and making it in an ikat fabrication. Ikat might be the oldest form of worldly textile decoration. And exists way before the camp cap became a classic. Symbolic of status, wealth and prestige; it's the perfect Supreme dichotomy. And maybe it should just be understood as an interesting and colorful hat. That would definitely be the easy way out. But if you're reading this then you probably aren't interested in brushing the surface either.
And if we're talking interests, than the most interesting piece this season has absolutely nothing to do with clothing at all, rather a lack of clothing. And everything to do with thematic cultural significance...
What does a French painting from 1866 have anything to do with "streetwear?" Everything... but it would be so unSupreme of me to explain it all to you.