James Jebbia, the man who, in 1994, founded and to this day runs the SoHo-based company that has been making clothing and skateboards and a lot of other things that the people who love it absolutely have to have, doesn’t think of Supreme the way most people in fashion might—as a brand that started out in a small store on Lafayette Street and has since inched its way to legendary global status. He thinks of Supreme more as a space. When Jebbia was a teenager in Crawley, West Sussex, in the eighties, working at a Duracell factory, listening to T. Rex and Bowie on breaks and spending his spare cash on trips to London to buy clothes, it was always in a certain elusive kind of store—one that became the model for Supreme.
what began as a generally male-focused enterprise has, with more and more frequency, been co-opted by women—mirroring both the rise of girl skaters and youth culture’s impressively genderless approach to dressing and living.
Recently the fashion world has been waking up to Supreme. In the past decade, the company has opened stores in Tokyo, London, and Paris, while the passionate devotion of their customers has brought it into the conversation with both teenagers at skateboard parks and the front rows of high fashion
“When you see the lines for Supreme in New York or London,” says Jones, “you see so many different types of people, and they are people you can relate to—they understand high-low, they’re smart, they’re intelligent, and they’re humorous. They know what they want, and they are very loyal—and a customer who is loyal is a real aspiration for anybody with a brand.”