B1 Intermediate US 162 Folder Collection
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Let me go establish this, Supreme as
the best. So I put Supreme on my shirt,
its on my chest. You got ta have
Supreme or you will be I hate r
because, you know, Supreme is super
elevated. This is Supreme.
The street wear brand that's rapidly
changing the retail industry.
People have broken into fights, waited
hours and entered lotteries just to get
inside. While, clothing stores are
shuttering all over the world.
Supreme is expanding, and the main
reason these guys, better known as
hypebeasts. With its limited
production, Supreme is known for
creating scarcity with each release and
with no paid marketing whatsoever.
Supreme has grown from a small
underground streetwear brand into a one
billion dollar global phenomenon.
My name's Joe Migraine. I've been a
Supreme collector for the better part
of eight years now.
Joe's sprawling Supreme collection has
been valued to be over one hundred
thousand dollars, featuring dozens of
skate decks and rare pieces of apparel.
But his favorite-- accessories are
always what is very interesting to me.
They are always out of left field.
They always surprise you.
And there's just a very collectible and
a very interesting aspect about all of
them. From pinball machines to
nunchucks crowbars, even a
brick hypebeasts like Joe, who treat
Supreme items like valuable artifacts,
are why the brand has a seemingly
unshakable reputation.
But its most popular item will always
be-- the box logo tee is probably the
most iconic item. Box logo merchandise
on Supreme tends to sell for four to
five x what it retails for.
What's great about the Supreme Logo is
is its simplicity.
It's simple, it's clean.
It pops and in our ADD culture,
that logo breaks through instantly.
The fashion industry spends five
hundred billion dollars on advertising
each year, but you won't find Supreme
on billboards or magazines.
It doesn't spend money on marketing
their products at all.
Everyone wants attention.
Everyone wants to do marketing.
Everyone wants, you know, influencers
wearing their product.
And Supreme operates the exact opposite
way. The magic lies in their ability to
take the word of mouth marketing and
turn the launches of their products
into sort of micro experiential
events. In 1994, founder
James Jebbia opened its flagship store
in Soho, New York City, on Lafayette
Street. Since then, Supreme has used a
combination of high profile of brand
collaborations and incredibly small
production quantities to its advantage.
But choking the supply wasn't
necessarily a strategic decision,
according to Jebbia. They didn't want
to get stuck with unwanted inventory.
This method is core to the company's
business model, making every launch of
press-worthy event and each item a
limited edition collector's piece with
skyrocketing value on the resale
market. What did this retail for $40,
$50? $45 maybe.
And then resale is probably two or
three hundred black medium.
I'll never wear it. The narrative is
that Supreme sells a t shirt for $30.
It sells out immediately at retail and
then people are paying on the
aftermarket. 3, 4, 5, 6 x what it cost
in the store. It's kind of like
investing in something that, you
know, will retain its value that, you
know, will rarely ever go below
what you paid for it.
And then there's always a good chance
that you will make more money than you
spent on it. Every
drop creates a sort of mania,
attracting a market of young resellers.
Some collectors even self-identifying
as addicts. Supreme -Yankees
box logo T-shirt.
It was forty four dollars.
Highest bid is currently four hundred
and seventy and the cheapest anyone's
willing to let it go is six hundred and
seventeen dollars.
Leopard fanny pack.
Retail was sixty eight dollars and you
can purchase it for three hundred on
StockX. Right now the classic black box
logo hoodie. This retails for one forty
eight. And now the cheapest on Stock X
is eleven hundred dollars.
What makes for a successful brand is
when that brand becomes an
extension of self.
It becomes a personal statement for the
people who are using it.
And in the case of Supreme, it became a
badge of cool.
But getting that badge of cool can be
incredibly difficult.
Which gives opportunistic retailers a
chance to make a killing during drops.
I've been asking everyone walking out
the store to sell me items, sell me
items. No one wants to sell.
It's so easy to do this.
I just don't think enough people know.
This summer, I mean about $10,000, it's
a pretty good summer job for me. Like,
everyone wants to hold their items and
wait for market to rise to sell.
It's almost like an addiction.
Like you buy one thing, you really
like it. And then every year there's
new Supreme items.
It has its highs and its lows.
When you get something that you really
want, that's really rare.
You feel really good. But on the flip
side of that is that there's something
that you've kind of been waiting for
all season, when you don't get it, it's
really sour feeling and then the
problem is that the price is like me
two or three or four times what Supreme
sold it for. Even this plastic bag has
some resell to it. You have around 10,
someone would be willing to buy it off
of you. And when you can penetrate the
day -to -day lifestyle of your target
audience in that way, that's a home run
for the brand.
Increasingly crowded store fronts,
launch day brawls and angry retail
neighbors have led Supreme to implement
a lottery system with each product
launch to reduce overcrowding.
Supreme is only open to the public
during their seasonal drops and they
only release new merchandise on
Thursdays. To get in, you have to sign
up by 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday before the
drop. Registry fills up insanely fast.
If you get in, you'll get a text the
day of the launch. Then you'll get
another one telling you what time you
can come, and then you can possibly
wait in line for up to three to four
hours just to get inside.
With increasingly publicized
collaboration, Supreme notoriety has
led to both wanted and unwanted
attention. In 2017, Jebbia confirmed
that half the company was sold for five
hundred million dollars to the Carlyle
Group, a private equity corporation.
But the public doesn't seem to care--
yet. How much is our outfit worth?
Companies make investments in order to
grow those investments, and so it's
likely that the plan would be to expand
the brand, sell more merchandise and
profit further. But Supreme is managing
to maintain its street cred.
The evidence shows that they haven't
stopped being who they are. Everything
has been done exactly the same.
You know, they've been fighting some
big legal battles.
A corporation like the Carlyle Group at
your disposal to help fight those
battles is something that they
definitely need. Supreme has eleven
stores in total with seven located
outside of the U.S.. International
fans, especially those in countries
where Supreme doesn't have a footprint,
pay just about any price to get their
hands on authentic Supreme.
The only way they can get their hands
on this genuine apparel is on the
secondary market. There's
a lot of Chinese people here that have
buyers overseas and they have these
people here and they have lists of
prices that they're willing to pay.
They come up, they pay for it right
away. They pull out thousands of
dollars in cash. They'll pay anything.
The Asian resale market, it's
definitely, definitely big.
If you live in a country that, you
know, you can't buy online from, your
only options are buying it from eBay,
which you might be dealing with fakes.
The other effect of product scarcity
has been the rise in fakes.
Biggest fake Supreme stone in the
world. But it looks
dead-ass identical man.
That's mad, it's actually crazy. Which
in March of 2019 resulted in a highly
publicized lawsuit between Supreme and
Supreme Italia, a brand with an
identical logo that Supreme denounced
as counterfeit. Since then, Supreme
Italia has opened stores in Europe and
Asia. In countries, Supreme has yet to
reach. A lot of people who really know
about Supreme, they're against it.
Like, they would never buy that sh-t.
They can compare every detail, from the
stitching to the logo part, to the
pattern, and to the label.
But do people really care if the box
logo on their tee is official supreme
merchandise? When you buy street wear
you're doing it to be part of a
particular community. To circumvent the
barriers to entry by buying a fake kind
of misses the whole point.
It's not about owning a Supreme tee
shirt. It's about the concept of
understanding the culture and putting
yourself out there. I personally hate
fakes. I'll never wear fakes.
I don't want to own fakes. I don't want
to look at fakes. I hate 'em.
The legal battle also sparked a
hypocracy debate with critics alleging
that Supreme plagiarized their logo,
whose design is nearly identical to the
work of artist Barbara Kruger to begin
with. Good artists, copy, great artists
steal, like that's just kind of the
name of the game with fashion.
The red Futura bold is exactly like
Barbara Kruger's artwork, but it is
what it is. An irony that's not lost on
Barbara Kruger. Supreme has continued
their strong presence in the fashion
industry, but the future of Supreme
could be uncertain with private equity
stakeholders involved. If the brand
does go mass, it is, you
know, contradictory to the way that it
built its model with the limited
edition releases, and that stands
to potentially compromise its street
cred. You can start to tell by what the
public perception is and what people
are writing on the Internet and talking
about. But also you can tend to tell by
resale value is declining or if the
number of sales are declining.
But Supreme seems to be getting bolder
with their designs keeping hypebeasts
loyal to the brand.
Supreme is very self-aware and knows
exactly what they're doing and they
like, yeah, we're gonna do a brick and
everyone is going to talk about it.
I think they just continually push the
boundary for like what's possible.
The reason why people want to wear
Supreme is because they want a piece of
culture. A crowbar or a brick can, you
know, it can last forever.
Those things will be in museums in 50
years.
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How Supreme Built A Billion Dollar Brand Empire

162 Folder Collection
ayane published on November 4, 2019
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