Fashion

Supreme: Fashion and Exclusivity

Why is Supreme so expensive?

With its much-anticipated uncovering at Paris Fashion Week, the FW collaboration of NYC street label Supreme and French luxury house Louis Vuitton has thoroughly enraptured souls of many. Deemed a new era in fashion history, the coalescence of the two discrete worlds of street and luxury has been said to represent an unexpected coming together of the looks of the uptown and downtown. Emma Hope Allwood, Fashion Features Editor of Dazed Magazine, described the collaboration to be “At first, a kind of surprised disbelief…But the more [she] thought about it, the more it made sense.”

Despite the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection not due to release until July, a rumored jaw-dropping price list (shown below) for the collection items has surfaced online. A denim jacket adorned with the famous LV and Supreme stamps is expected to cost around $2,000 USD, and a leather trunk also embellished with the two labels is expected to retail for more than $68,500 USD.

supreme-louis-vuitton-price-list-950x950
Rumored Price List (PC: Nice Kicks)

For those loyal hypebeasts out there, the big-budget costs are conceived, for the prices for Supreme products have never been so friendly. However, many have expressed their dismay—how can a street brand cost a fortune?

With its founding year traced back to 1994, Supreme has established itself as a stalwart street brand garnering much notice among the fashion industry. Ever since, the label has proved its success, demonstrated through its frequent collaborations with renown brands such as Thom Browne, Vans, and Stone Island.

A reason for its steady success can be searched for in the surface—hype. Hype is the instant boost of publicity. Let’s say, Kanye West or Rihanna, idol of many, is spotted wearing a Supreme box logo tee. That’s surely cool and so is the T-shirt; that’s why such exposure encourages people to forage for the same item.

Charles Park (‘20), an avid follower of fashion labels at KIS had his say, attaching a widely different reason to its popularity, one conceivably many fellow hypebeasts would agree with:

“I like Supreme because of their general character as a brand. The unique attitude and voice that comes out with every season is what I’m attracted to. I think that the reason why Supreme is loved by so many and has stood the test the time in terms of trends, is that they’re not afraid to try something new. Many of their items appeal to different demographics, which is how I think Supreme was elevated from a small New York skateshop to a icon in streetwear and street culture. To put it simply, I like Supreme because as a brand, their political messages, their skate references, and their musical influences have been authentic and true to itself.”

Yet, the ultimate and the true key to success of Supreme, throughout its 23 years has been consistent—exclusivity. By making a limited amount of product for every release, Supreme plants exclusivity. Although the online shop selling out in minutes after a new release and resellers mass purchasing products, Supreme never fails to keep the supply low. The demand is yet more or less assumed. That brings us to buying director of concept store MACHINE-A, Stavros Karelis, who left a rather interesting yet questionable comment that the Supreme x LV collaboration, “from a retail and marketing point of view, I find it brilliant!”

It seems to be Supreme’s cerebral play of economics—supply and demand—that has fueled its sustained successes and has allowed it to stay high in budgets all throughout. The exclusivity and rareness, which people naturally seek to differentiate themselves, have led to its unfailing popularity and attention.

– Yoo Bin Shin (‘18)
Featured Image: Highsnobiety

Sources:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/supreme-and-the-psychology-of-brand-devotion

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion-show-review/louis-vuittons-protean-new-york

http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/01/24/supreme-louis-vuitton-reactions/

 

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