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James Jebbia Talks About The Roots and Influence of Supreme


Supreme on Lafayette Street, 1995 | Sue Kwon

When it comes to Streetwear, there is no corner the conversation can be held without bringing the streetwear brand Supreme into the conversation. While the trendy box logo is well recognized, the roots and culture of the brand still remained a mystery. Although the brand has been around for years, it made a sudden splash into the street culture ultimately becoming the reference pinpoint in the community. Until now no-one knew how, or even exactly when. it happened. In an exclusive sit down with GQ magazine, Founder James Jebbia talks about the brand and their journey to the powerhouse it is today.

When started a business, the common theme is to “work for yourself” or even “make a shit ton of money” but or Jebbia, the mantra was very simple: “the reason that we do things the way we do is because we respect the customer.” Keeping it classic with the main focus at the epicenter of the brand, the consumers. Jebbia had always been more interested in the true art and “raw” aspect of the New York skater and their unique style. Noting the competition around him weren’t the brands geared toward the skaters, it was more Nautica, Polo, and Levis so he stuck to the pavement watching what his peers were wearing. “We weren’t blind to Helmut Lang. We weren’t blind to FUBU, either,” Jebbia says. “There was an awareness of a lot of what was going on out there, being in New York. But there wasn’t as many big fashion brands then. There just wasn’t. But I’ve got to say: Helmut Lang at that time was really important, personally.” Using a reference point on how well Helmut Lang t-shirts fit his neck as a pin on how dedicated to signature quality Jebbia had become.

Originating in the streets of New York, the brand has maintained there ability to revolutionize with the ever evolving youth at the top of the pyramid. “When you think about a tailor shop or somewhere where they’re really making a product, you can sell it, like, a block away,” he stated. “You feel very closely connected to who’s buying it, who’s wearing it, why it’s cool. It’s not like you’re in some studio across the world.” Remaining stern on his intuitiveness to listen to who the brand is really for and keeping the ball revolving, ensuring that they’re “not stuck in a box.” No pun intended.

Throughout the interview, Jebbia discusses a variety of topics including the brand mission on moving forward, collaborations, and the importance of listening and relativity to the customers. You can read the full interview on GQ.

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