london’s diehard supreme fans talk louis vuitton, hype, addiction and collaboration
With hypebeasts hyperventilating the world-over, the Supreme x Louis Vuitton pop-up shops opened their doors on Friday. As London’s 180 Strand raised its shutters, kids from across the capital and beyond formed a seemingly endless line that snaked its...
"You can't have the conversation of New York menswear without Supreme right now, because it's such a massive global phenomenon," Kim Jones explained back in January after he presented the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration in Paris. "I just feel that the strength of their graphic versus the strength of the Louis Vuitton graphic, and that kind of Pop Art feeling -- it works together perfectly," Kim added. Given that the Paris-based luxury house once sent a cease-and-desist letter to the New York-based streetwear upstarts over its use of Vuitton-like monogram prints on skateboards back in 2000, it shows just how far the balance of power has shifted in the last 17 years. In fusing his autumn/winter 17 collection with the hype that is stitched into Supreme's seams, Kim Jones made Louis Vuitton, arguably fashion's most sought-after luxury brand, even more covetable. "This was the establishment bowing low to the anti-establishment and taking a leaf out of their intelligent streetwear book," i-D Fashion Features Director Anders Christian Madsen noted in his show review. For the release, Louis Vuitton took another leaf out of the streetwear book and followed Supreme's lead.
Queues that snake through streets and frustrate retail neighbours have become synonymous with the the perpetual hype that surrounds a Supreme product drop. With information often limited, only die-hard obsessives know what's coming. As other shoppers and locals alike look on in bemusement, the line longs to get their feet in the stores and hands on the most coveted products. While Supreme ITKs drip fed information onto the feeds of the most obsessive, the precise location and opening times of the eight global pop-up stores -- Beijing, Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, LA, Miami, Seoul and London -- selling the collaboration on Friday morning were officially announced just hours before doors opened.
Before the shutters were raised on London's 180 Strand, hundreds of hypebeasts lined up to ensure they snapped up the hottest pieces. Despite the pop-up running until 21 July, items are already up on eBay with eye-watering prices -- we spotted a Supreme x Louis Vuitton Box Logo hoodie going for $25,000.
Follow Henry Gorse's lens as we meet the city's Supreme devotees to discuss the collaboration, their obsession and whether or not they've ever regretted any of their Supreme promises.
Thomas Kwofie, London, freelance stylist
How long have you stood in line? I've been here since 10am yesterday my G. Why are you here? I'm tryna cop the bogo and the bandana. What do your friends and family think about you Supreme addiction? They've been all repeating me the same question. Why would you spend 10 times the price of an object just cause it says Supreme on it? What would you say to anyone who doesn't understand the hype of Supreme? You are missing out mate.
Evan J, 18, Student, Cambridge
How long have you stood in line? I've been queuing since 6am this morning. Which items are you hoping to pick up? Mainly the accessories, especially the chain wallet and card holder. What would you say to anyone who doesn't understand the hype of Supreme? There are no words to explain the hype of Supreme, only meanings. It can only be perceived. Who would you love to see Supreme collaborate with next? Palace.
Rebecca Ejdemo, 23, Stockholm, chef and musician / Pelle Sabel, 21, Stockholm, self employed illustrator and customiser
Why are you here? R: To join the hype over Supreme x LV. It's just a coincidence that me and my boyfriend came to London this weekend, so we're really happy. If you were a Supreme product what would you be? The red and black fur jacket from spring/summer 17. Who would you like to see Supreme collaborate with next? Gucci or Yayoi Kusama. Which items are you hoping to pick up? P: I'd like to cop the full navy pyjama set, the sunglasses in red, the denim jacket, and the red bumbag. To be honest I'd like to get pretty much every piece. If you were a Supreme product what would you be? I'd prolly be the Supreme money gun, because I be spraying that shit everywhere and also I'm cringy AF.
Tian Chen / JinJia Hu, 22, China, Student
How long have you stood in line? 15 hours. What would you say to anyone who doesn't understand the hype of Supreme? There's nothing to say. Who would you love to see Supreme collaborate with next? Vetements.
Xinyi Sun, 18, China, student
Why are you here? For the box logo T-shirt and sun glasses. How long have you stood in line? Four hours. What do your friends and family think about you Supreme addiction? To be honest, most of my friends and even my parents love Supreme. Which of your previous Supreme purchases do you regret the most? Everything I bought for my ex-boyfriend. Who would you love to see Supreme collaborate with next? With me.
Text Steve Salter
Photography Henry Gorse