morrissey vs. supreme

Inside the dramatic battle over a Terry Richardson ad campaign photograph.

by Laura Vogel
14 February 2016, 4:20pm

Image via Instagram

The street- and skate-oriented brand Supreme is in a massive beef with flower-swinging British singer Morrissey. And it's about, well, beef.

Last year, Supreme hired Terry Richardson to shoot a campaign using the former Smiths front-man wearing one of their branded tees, and, apparently, Morrissey hated the resulting images. The brand's Supreme Celeb tee for SS16 campaign kicked off last week, and, yesterday, Morrissey released the following statement on his online zine True to You:

"I apologize enormously for the enfeebled photograph of me issued this week by Supreme. The shot was taken in October 2015. I considered the photograph to be fit only for a medical encyclopedia and I pleaded with Supreme not to use it. This was before I learned that Supreme were sponsored in part by the beef sandwich pharaoh known as White Castle. Supreme were issued with a legal caution not to use the photograph and their fee would be returned. Evidently Supreme have ignored my lawyer. No safety within the corridors of law. Ugh."

Today, Supreme offered its side of the story with a statement that read, in part:

"In July of 2015 Supreme approached Morrissey to participate in one of its poster and T-shirt campaigns. An agreement was entered which named the photographer as Terry Richardson.... After offering Morrissey several options of images from the shoot, Morrissey rejected them all with no explanation. Instead, Morrissey insisted on using a photo that he has taken of himself wearing a Supreme T-shirt for the campaign. Unable to use this image, Supreme repeatedly offered Morrissey three very reasonable options as a remedy to the impasse: 1) To do an entire re-shoot at Supreme's sole expense, 2) To select one of the many options from the shoot with Terry Richardson, 3) To return the money that was paid to Morrissey by Supreme."

Apparently, the singer ignored all of Supreme's efforts to save the campaign, and then, again per Supreme, "He then proceeded to assert the sudden and ridiculous claim that because Supreme had used the White Castle logo on a group of products in the past, and because he is a known vegetarian, that the agreement was supposedly terminated."

It sounds that, perhaps, Morrissey wasn't too pleased with Richardson's unvarnished style, which made him look, in his estimation, "enfeebled," and his dedicated vegetarianism was a convenient excuse. We'll definitely keep an eye on this battle. 


Text Laura Vogel
Image via Instagram

Terry Richardson