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11am // 20.10.2017

supreme line 950

Supreme, which started as a small core-skateshop in New York city, has steadily turned itself into a highly sought-after street fashion label. Earlier this month, the company sold roughly half their shares for a cool $500 million in a deal that valued Supreme at over $1 billion.

The buyers are a company called the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm. The Carlyle Group’s business is in buying stakes in companies, attempting to grow them rapidly over a three to five year period and then selling them off.

James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme, told Business of Fashion, “We’re a growing brand, and to sustain that growth we’ve chosen to work with Carlyle, who has the operational expertise needed to keep us on the steady path we’ve been on since 1994.”

Having done collaborations with brands like Louis Vuitton and getting celebrities like Mike Tyson, Ghost Face Killah and (unfortunately) Kim Kardashian, wearing Supreme gear, the brand has been on the up for a long time.

Skate-wise, Supreme are probably best known for Cherry, the gritty, New York heavy video of 2014 that starred Tyshawn Jones, Sage Elsesser, Alex Olsen, Jason Dill and, of course, the late Dylan Reider. Word has it that another full-length video from director William Strobeck is coming soon.

While the huge cash injection might take Supreme to new ‘mainstream’ levels when it comes to selling product, it’s unlikely that the style of their skate videos will change much. In an interview with What Youth, Strobeck was asked what he thought about Ty Evans’ high budget video We Are Blood; his answer was telling. While he praised the video for what it was, he said, “I’m not gonna do that, I’m not gonna fucking go on a crane… I ain’t gonna be making something like that. I’m kind of sticking to my thing I’m doing now… I don’t want to over do it.”

Words by Nat Kassel.

Supreme SHOPFront 950
Supreme Skate Video Premiere, Lafayette Street, NYC, late '90s.