supreme has spoken out for the first time on counterfeiting

In a rare interview with the Business of Fashion, Supreme founder James Jebbia addressed ‘Supreme Italia’ and other fakes of the sought after brand.

by Roisin Lanigan
|
03 April 2019, 10:26am

As one of the most sought after streetwear brands in the world, it’s not surprising that Supreme has spawned counterfeits over the years. Knock-off ‘Supreme Italia’, for instance, is technically legal in China, thanks to international differences complicating intellectual property laws.

Now, in a rare interview, Supreme (the proper one) founder James Jebbia has addressed the situation around “legal fakes” and the ongoing war with Supreme Italia. “We [Supreme] don’t do a ton of press and we are quite quiet,” James told Business of Fashion. “These guys are taking full advantage of that.”

“I don’t think another company has really had to deal with this like we have. This is a whole new level with this criminal enterprise -- these complete imposters and impersonators. This is a company that was able to convince one of the biggest companies in the world [Samsung] that they are the real thing.”

Last year Supreme Italia won a court case which allowed them to open their first store, in Shanghai, and even (briefly) collaborate with Samsung.

Despite these setbacks though, James remains positive and dedicated to taking down Supreme Italia and using them as an example for counterfeiters. “Opening stores is only going to yield a bigger victory once we are able to shut those down,” said Supreme’s lawyer Darci J. Bailey, who added that despite the knock-off company bizarrely trying to sell trademarks back to Supreme, the company would not accept payoffs as a way to solve the legal problems.

“They are really after our DNA,” she adds. “We will not stop, we will not relent.”

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