Supreme is an American skateboarding shop and clothing brand established in New York City in April 1994. The brand caters to the skateboarding and hip hop cultures as well as to youth culture in general. Its shoes, clothing, and accessories are sold extensively in the secondary market.
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The brand was founded by James Jebbia. Although he was born in the United States, he lived in England until he was 19. Jebbia was originally the manager of Stussy in New York in the early 1990s.
The first Supreme store opened in an old office space on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan in April 1994. It was designed with skaters in mind with a unique design for the store layout: by arranging the clothes around the perimeter of the store, a large central space permitted skaters with backpacks to skate into the store and still feel comfortable. This store had its core group of skaters who served as its team in 1994, which included late actors Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter, and the first employees were extras from the Larry Clark film Kids.
In 2004, a second location was opened on North Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles, California, which is nearly double the size of the original New York City store and features an indoor skate bowl. Other locations include Paris, which opened in 2016, London, which opened in September 2011, Tokyo (Harajuku, Daikanyama, and Shibuya), Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. The additional locations emulate the original Lafayette Street store’s design; stores feature rotating art displays and use videos and music to attract attention.
Supreme stocks its own clothing label, as well as other skateboard brands such as Vans, Nike SB, Spitfire, Thrasher, and Girl Distribution Company, among others. James Jebbia was quoted in saying that anything that Supreme releases will never be classified as “limited,” but notes that they make short runs of their products because they “don’t want to get stuck with stuff nobody wants.”
On October 5, 2017, Supreme opened its 11th store and second in New York City in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. On October 6, 2017, James Jebbia confirmed that the label had sold a significant stake in the company of roughly 50% (around $500 million) to private equity firm The Carlyle Group. On February 25, 2019, Supreme moved its original Manhattan location from 274 Lafayette Street to 190 Bowery.
Supreme opened its 12th store, on Market Street in San Francisco, on October 24, 2019.