Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the hip new brand called Supreme. It has become the new pop-culture phenomenon and has every young adult and teenage kids are lining up to buy the latest supreme gear. Although Supreme was started in 1994 by James Jebbia, it has recently become a fashion craze after notable celebrities such as Drake, Kanye West, and Tyler the Creator have been seen in Supreme wear in public. To add to the hype, basketball players such as JR Smith and Kelly Oubre Jr have worn Supreme shooting sleeves and leg sleeve. With that being said, what is all the hype around Supreme?

To begin with, Supreme is made in limited quantities. So the demand for Supreme products will always be greater than the supply. This not only allows the prices to swell up, but it creates a sense of rarity. This makes people believe that by having Supreme, you also own something most people don’t have. In combination with the fact that the prices are very high, it creates a sense that only the wealthy can buy it. This is why Supreme is seen as a luxury brand such as Rolls Royce. Rolls Royce cars are not an extremely practical car such as a truck or a sports car, but it is expensive and rare. The appeal that made Rolls Royce a luxury car, is the same appeal that makes Supreme luxury apparel.

Next is the eye popping logo. It seems simple in nature, but slap it on to any object and it immediately looks cool (depending on who you ask). Its as simple as the Nike swoosh, or the Adidas bar’s. Certain styles can only work on certain people. When you have a simple and eye catching sweater, anyone can look fashionable in it.

The final ingredient to Supreme’s success is the celebrity backing. Almost any product that is endorsed by a celebrity is an instant success. Take for example the Yeezys by Kanye West. It is a fairly ordinary shoe yet extremely overpriced. If it weren’t for the backing of Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Lebron James, etc. the Yeezy’s probably wouldn’t have been as popular as they are now. We can compare this to the 80’s Adidas Superstar. Most kids today might not know what the Adidas Superstars are, but in the 1980’s they were practically the Yeezy’s of their time. This is because they were backed by the biggest rap group of the time, Run DMC. Everyone was rocking Adidas Superstars Brands, no matter what time in history, are instantly boosted in popularity with the endorsing of a celebrity.

I personally don’t believe in buying a hype brand like Supreme, yeezy, Gucci, etc. However, I do see the appeal to the products. What kid doesn’t want to be like their favorite celebrity? Its fashionable and its fun. So what are your opinions on brands like Supreme? Do you enjoy them? Do you dislike them? What’s the hype behind them?

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March 5, 2018 3:38 pm

Hi Keaton,

Nice post. I actually wrote a post about the hypebeast culture a little while ago talking about the phenomenon’s effect on streetwear and modern fashion in general. This is something we’ve seen more and more of with the rising impact of social media, more than ever before we can see what other people are wearing. We can buy clothes online, we can do whatever we can afford. These brands take advantage of all of the hype they get from celebrities and icons that translates into more regular people dropping large amounts of money to get their hands on these pieces. I am against modern supreme, as they came from an urban skate brand like so many other streetwear brands, but have turned into a money making powerhouse that frankly has lost its cool. A lot of their pieces are still really creative and interesting, but the things that get the most attention are their items where they are simply slapping their logo next to another popular brand, which is boring in most cases to me.

Here’s a short documentary that shows the impacts these brands have on street fashion, especially among young people: https://thesolesupplier.co.uk/news/are-young-hypebeasts-ruining-the-streetwear-culture/


January 18, 2018 8:13 pm

Dear Keaton:
I am happy with your post, “All The Hype,” because I didn’t know what all the supreme until now. You had told me that it was a brand from 1994 and it wasn’t anything good until celebrities and basketball players was wearing them. One sentence that you wrote that stands out for me is: “it creates a sense that only the wealthy can buy it.” I think this is just sad because not everybody has parents that can provide these items for their kids. Another sentence that I saw was: “The final ingredient to Supreme’s success is the celebrity backing. Almost any product that is endorsed by a celebrity is an instant success.” This stood out for me because if you have some celebrities to wear your brand, it attracts fans of them to wear them also to show support that they have about them. Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you have a great article about certain things and great ideas. I would hopefully want to see how your idea become even bigger than it was before.

January 15, 2018 9:14 pm

Keaton, this is quite the interesting topic. “Hype brands” are a big part of our modern world and they give us desirable products. Supreme is a skating brand so it mainly caters to skaters, and because it has been worn by celebrities, it has become more desirable. Gucci and Versace are other great examples of this phenomena, but I think it is one of the things that makes our society so interesting. Seeing what other people own, especially brand products, helps us categorize them into a certain type of person and we can relate and appreciate that person for having the same taste as us if we like that brand as well. I actually appreciate these brands because they have a story, they have a style, they procure to a culture, and although they are overpriced and limited in stock, owning one of their items makes it that much more special. Who likes living an ordinary life with literally nothing special in their time? Thank you for sharing your insight and research on this topic!

January 13, 2018 5:18 pm

Thanks for writing this piece. I am with you “dont believe in buying a hype brands like Supreme” I love the way you explicated the “Hype Machine” mechanizations of creating a luxury brand. My son is a Supreme Disciple and we always argue about the down falls of consumerism. Your piece helped me better understand why he and other young people like him can’t get enough of Supreme. Truth be told, I wore one of his Supreme hats one day, and got crazy compliments 🙂

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