Three days ago, reports began circulating that the second phase of the Supreme x Louis Vuitton rollout had been cancelled. However, despite a seemingly official email from Louis Vuitton's Client Services and Supreme's worrisome radio silence, some customers decided to continue waiting outside the planned pop-up shops in New York, L.A., Honolulu, Houston, and Vancouver. This morning, there were over 100 people still outside Louis Vuitton's Greene and Prince Street location in SoHo, one queuer reported to i-D over the phone at around 10am. The drop had originally been scheduled to occur at 9:30am today.
16-year-old Saniya explained her rationale for sticking around: "Basically, Louis Vuitton sent out a tweet confirming the collaboration, but they haven't sent out a tweet confirming the cancellation." Saniya said she and other waiting Supreme stans were hopeful that the cancellation reports had just been one big troll. That Louis Vuitton would open at 11am and the collaboration would be waiting for them to shop.
"All we want to do is buy things," one queuer (who requested to remain anonymous) said in frustration. "Take our cash! It's a win-win for everyone. I don't get it." 46 years old, he was one of the few people there because of an enduring affection for Louis Vuitton (his large collection of LV products even includes an umbrella).
The resolve of these shoppers shows the impressive (and occasionally frightening) brand loyalty of Supreme fans (Saniya estimated that 70% of the people in line were there primarily because of the skate brand). With a significant portion of the collection's pieces priced higher than some New Yorkers' rent, the amount of cash these hopefuls were eager, almost pleading, to give to Louis Vuitton and Supreme seems remarkable.
As with any crowd, there were rumors and theories floating around. Some believed that the stock was inside Louis Vuitton's SoHo location and that the two brands were simply refusing to sell it. There was a rumored video of stock being transported into the store. This theory made it to the Supreme subreddit, where one user asserted that only VIP clientele were being given access to the stock. User SupremeK wrote, "brands at the high end like LV are all about maintaining their rep as a prestigious brand. The people in line to buy hoodie, tee, or cardholder are likely not going to be regular LV customers. Which is probably why VIP customer's got taken care of and everyone else was left out."
If this were true, it would be bad news for the people who have waited in line for close to a week. Despite SoHo residents' fears that the crowd would be rowdy — fights broke out at the L.A. Supreme x Louis Vuitton pop-up last week — queuers said things were calm and peaceful.
There's still been no official word on the status of the rollout (i-D has reached out to Supreme for comment). But GQ has suggested the drop has not been cancelled, just postponed, after it called LV's Dallas and San Francisco locations and was told the collection is still on, "but it would not be arriving by the 14th as previously suggested." Clothes or no clothes, there's still a pack of shoppers waiting with burning pockets and slowly breaking hearts.
At 11am, I texted Saniya asking if there was any news. "Not at all," she responded. She had finally given up and gone home.
Text André-Naquian Wheeler
Photography Stef Mitchell