fake supreme is almost as popular as real supreme

The business of bootlegs is getting bigger.

by Hannah Ongley
Apr 30 2018, 9:50pm

 i-D, The 35th Birthday Issue, [No. 337, Spring 2015]. Limited edition cover wrap by Supreme

Even typically puritanical ‘preme stans are warming to appeal of counterfeit clothing. Fashionista, citing a new study from SEMrush, reports that Supreme is the most-searched brand on the internet thanks to fans searching for fakes. It’s all part of a newfound love for counterfeit culture that has the fashion world transfixed. Even Gucci is now making “GUCCY” tees, Alexander Wang is celebrating manufacturing flaws like pixelated graphics and uneven printing, and Demna Gvasalia is jacking the campaign logo of Bernie Sanders. Shockingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, SEMrush claims that searches for fake fashion have climbed by 500% over the past 24 months.

The business of bootlegs can probably be attributed to fashion’s crumbling hierarchy. This an era where Supreme can officially stamp its box logo on Louis Vuitton leather, and it’s not immediately obvious who actually benefits, besides the resellers slinging bags for $14,775 on 1stdibs.com. But that this is hardly the first time skate brands and luxury labels have found themselves in bed together. When Palace Skateboards was in its infancy, the brand bootlegged Versace’s medusa to reclaim opulence for skate kids — before having its own logo bootlegged by HypePeace to raise money for Palestinian youth.

While fashion’s “obvious fake” trend is real, some Supreme fans are honestly just thinking about their bank accounts. “I don’t feel any different whether I’m wearing an H&M T-shirt or a Supreme replica,” one anonymous fan recently told Highsnobiety. “I wear [both of them] because they look good.” Touché. “We’re a brand for the people,” Supreme’s James Jebbia has claimed, despite the cult downtown brand’s business model becoming increasingly reliant on exclusivity, and even taking on investors. But what’s more democratic than copping a fake?