Images courtesy Supreme

the supreme x nan goldin collab is receiving the worst reaction from transphobic hypebros

Last Friday, Supreme dropped its collaboration with legendary photography Nan Goldin. A week on, it seems some transphobic hypebeasts still aren’t over it.

by Matthew Whitehouse
|
06 April 2018, 10:33am

Images courtesy Supreme

What are those Supreme fans like, eh? They’ll cop anything! A paperweight made from a stack of US banknotes? No problem! A pair of Supreme chopsticks? I’ll take two! An actual house brick? Yeah, why not -- and chuck in an inflatable kayak while you’re at it.

How about a hoodie with an iconic image of two drag artists on it? Or an photo of a beautiful thong-wearing trans performer? No? So this is what you mean when you talk about a skateboard’s drag resistance.

Supreme's Nan Goldin hoodies

Last week, Supreme unveiled its latest collaboration in the form of a capsule collection with the Nan Goldin photography archive. Consisting of a coach’s jacket, a hoodie, three T-shirts and three skateboards, the collection featured work from Nan’s landmark 1986 visual diary, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. And you know, what? It looked mega. Objectively so -- colourful, beautiful, raw and real. So it obviously sold out in a matter of minutes like pretty much every other Supreme drop, right?

Wrong. As noted by New York Times reporter Matthew Schneier on Twitter, “It's six hours after the Supreme drop hit and there are still plenty of Nan Goldin pieces available... never seen anything like this before… I think the children just don't know what to do with Nan Goldin... no one's taught them the Ballad of Sexual Dependency, bless them”.

Nan Goldin's Kim In Rhinestones tshirt for Supreme

It would appear that way, based on this Reddit thread, and these low, low ratings on Supremecommunity. Even a cursory glance at the comments section of a Hypebeast article about the collab reveals, what we’re going to describe as, a veritable smorgasbord of asshattery. “15 yr old boys gunna be wearing shirts w trannies . Lol,” an avatar-less Taylor laughed out loud. “MISS ME WITH THAT GAY SHIT,” StraightForward shouted. “Sell this to the California SJW fuckboys,” suggested major tom, in a post that, when you consider we’re discussing skateboarding -- one of the 20th century’s most enduring forms of counterculture -- is a pretty un-countercultural thing to say, isn’t it. (Ground control to major tom: you’re named after a fictional astronaut in a song by an orange-haired bisexual man, hun).

Nan Goldin photography, Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi
Photography Nan Goldin

Full disclosure: I’m not a skateboarder. I think people should just walk! But even I know that skateboarding is meant to full of the kind of misfits and outcasts that Nan made a career out of documenting. Marginalised kids freaking out old people on the pavement. Disaffected youths starting fires (literal and metaphorical). Reading these comments, it’s almost as if -- *sideways look to camera* -- Supreme’s relentless churn of hype-drumming, uber-capitalist merch trade has driven out the very people that it was supposed to appeal to in the first place?

Then of course, there’s the possibility that Supreme knew that. That their Nan Goldin collaboration has been precision designed to give the echo-chambering hypebros a scare. “I did this for the kids,” Nan said in an interview with Vogue, “I’m looking forward to seeing teenagers skating on my images and wearing them. To my mind, people have become so conservative, especially the millennials -- it’s like the 1960s never happened -- so I like the idea of them being exposed to my real world.” And so do we. It’s just a shame she had to be exposed to theirs in the process.