How Supreme Became the Ultimate Super Brand

Elinor Block

Supreme has been around since the ’90s, with a dedicated following of streetwear fans. But arguably it’s only over the past half a decade that the wider fashion industry has properly taken notice. With the increasing influence of streetwear on high fashion, it’s no surprise that Supreme is one of the brands that is taking centre stage. It couldn’t have been clearer that the New York–based label was a major player in high-fashion circles than when it collaborated with Louis Vuitton earlier this year. When we reported on the drop (the technical term for a Supreme launch), the secrecy surrounding the collab was so intense that I could only find out the time and place to shop the items via a source that wanted to remain anonymous on Twitter. But we were talking clothes, not state secrets.

It’s no surprise then that some might describe Supreme as more of a cult. With various Reddit posts dedicated to the question “why are so many people obsessed with Supreme,” I’m also fascinated by this phenomenon. When I spoke to Alec Leach, the digital fashion editor from Highsnobiety, he referred to it almost like a football club, “the way they distribute their clothing is key. It’s a way for young people to get together.” So how is it that the brand—which started off as a small business in New York—is now worth a reported $1 billion? Keep scrolling to find out why Supreme has become the mega brand it is today.

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