Why Supreme Is So Expensive | So Expensive

Why Supreme Is So Expensive | So Expensive


Supreme, baby! I just bought a faux-fur
jacket for $1,000, so. People want to know, “Hey, look, that guy’s wearing Supreme.” But people also make a
living off it too, so. Narrator: These two jackets
are nearly identical, both made by The North Face, and both using Gore-Tex technology. This one on the left costs $300. The one on the right is currently
selling for nearly $1,300. So what’s the difference? This one just happens to be a North Face collaboration with Supreme. So why would someone pay
nearly a thousand dollars more for basically the same jacket? And what is it that makes
Supreme so expensive? From the eye-catching logo to
the limited product releases and artist collaborations,
over the past 20 years, Supreme has transitioned from
a small skateboarding store in New York to a $1
billion streetwear company. But for its fans, Supreme
is more than just a brand. It’s often an obsession and an
entire subculture of its own. Since its origin, Supreme has maintained an image of being authentic. Founded by James Jebbia in 1994, Supreme started as a skateboarding store in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. The store started out selling
hoodies and sweatshirts aimed towards the burgeoning
New York skate scene. Throughout the ’90s and early 2000s, Supreme functioned as a skate brand catering to both skaters
and those interested in the emerging streetwear style. But Supreme’s limited
releases and attitude has pushed them far
beyond their beginnings. The most iconic Supreme
design is their box logo, originally, simple white, italic lettering over a plain red background. This design so closely echoes the work of conceptual artist Barbara Kruger that it is hard not to
see it as a direct copy, and copyright theft is something
that’s in Supreme’s DNA. Supreme’s appropriation of images is one of the keys to its popularity. Pop-cultural imagery and
logos are copied and adapted in a way that makes the designs feel more like contemporary
art or graffiti than a big fashion brand. Supreme’s first branded
T-shirt was simply a photo of Robert De Niro in
the film “Taxi Driver” along with the iconic red-and-white logo. And the company’s use of
often unlicensed imagery has led to Supreme being
served cease-and-desist letters from Louis Vuitton, the NHL, and the NCAA. Dimitrios Tsivrikos: The more
we’ve been exposed to a brand, the more likely we are gonna
be developing an association, a familiarity, almost a
sense of connection with it. With Supreme, there’s
no element of status, and they went completely for what a logo should be all about: standing
out, being identifiable. Narrator: The recognizability is key to Supreme’s power as a brand. But the items are also
purposefully difficult to get ahold of, and
their products are kept in high demand by very limited releases. Chris Magnaye: Tuesday at 11:00 a.m., you go to the Supreme website, you enter your basic information: your name, email, phone
number, and credit-card number. Then, they’ll send you
a text later in the day to let you know if you’ve been
selected to stand in line. Then on Wednesday, they’ll send you a text telling you the time
and store to report to. And on Thursday, you go to the store at the time that you’re given. There’s a one-limit-per-style
rule in Supreme, so what that means is,
if a shirt comes out in black, red, and gray,
you can only get it in gray. So if I want it in black and red, I need to get two other
people to get it for me, so they need to stand in line for me. A lot of the people who do stand in line are standing in line for someone else. Narrator: Supreme only
sells their merchandise at 11 brick-and-mortar
stores across the world as well as their online store. It was around the mid to late 2000s that Supreme really
started to pick up speed. This success was partly due to what’s been dubbed the “Kanye effect.” In 2006, Supreme released
their Supreme Blazer SB, a collaboration with Nike. The shoes retailed for around $150, with resale prices
ranging from $300 to $400. In July 2007, West was
pictured wearing the shoes at the Grammy Foundation’s
Starry Night party. After the photos were released, the resale price of the
shoes doubled to $800. Similarly, the teal box-logo sweatshirt worn by Tyler, the Creator
in his “She” music video, originally priced at around
$150, sold for $3,500. But not everything from Supreme is gonna end up being valuable. Sellers like Chris have to decide what’s going to be popular and what items will give
them the best return. Chris: So how I decide on
what I think is gonna resell is based mainly on what I would wear. You can also go to these
Instagram accounts, and they’ll have Instagram
polls, Twitter polls, talking about, oh, like
you can upvote this, you can downvote this, and
it’s this crowdsourcing tool to understand the market
better and find out, oh, this one’s gonna resell,
or this one is really popular. The most money that I’ve
made off of one Supreme item is the 2017 fall/winter
collaboration with The North Face, and it was a mountain parka. I bought it for $398,
and I sold it for $950. Narrator: This incredibly limited release means that buying and
reselling Supreme items is where the real money is. When you look at the prices
of Supreme items in-store, they aren’t as outlandish
as you may expect. They retail for around $38 for a T-shirt to $138 for a sweatshirt. But it’s once these products have sold out that they can reach 30
times their original price. Many other big brands are now adopting this method of very limited releases to generate hype around their products, from trainers to other streetwear brands. These releases make people feel like they’re part of something exclusive. Dimitrios: The more we
make a consumer work for their particular access to a product, the more alluring these services
and products are becoming. So I think Supreme know very
well how to make something incredibly accessible and sexy by allowing us to jump through
as many hoops as possible to make it relevant for them. Narrator: But there’s
something about Supreme that’s different. Could any other company get
away with selling a brick or a branded crowbar? What is it that gives Supreme
such a devoted following? I think it’s the hype. They come out with really cool items. I personally feel like they do. It’s a name brand, and name brands attract anybody at the end of the day. In New York especially,
it’s a lot of streetwear. So people want to have
those exclusive items. So I feel like Supreme, they
keep their quantities very low because of the high demand. People will pay that price
if it’s something they like. Supreme, I think the thing
that really causes people to spend money and wait in line is kind of the “it factor”
that it has, right? They’ve done an amazing
job of limiting quantities and underproducing to the demand. So in that way, their market of people that would
want to buy the product isn’t just people that are
interested in the product, but it’s also people that are
interested in making money, and that demographic is
way bigger than people that are just interested in streetwear. So when there’s an
opportunity to make money, then there’s gonna be a huge
line of people around the block regardless if they want to
wear the product or not. Narrator: Supreme has
managed to somehow keep their cool, alternative,
and exclusive image despite their expansion
and has still maintained its skater credentials despite selling a 50% stake in the brand
to a private equity firm. With more and more people
wanting their products, for now, it looks like
Supreme isn’t going anywhere.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Resale prices on resale stores offers them at robbery prices like 3x the original. But still people are dumb and if a celebrity shitted on something they will literally scramble over each other to buy it

  2. why would someone pay $1000 more for the same jacket with the word "supreme" on it?

    because they're stupid, that's why

  3. Supreme is garbage anyone who buys these expensive clothes you are insecure idiot and you will always be broke. My entire outfit cost me$30 and I have over 80k saved in my bank account and get on my level.

  4. Save your money go on Vacations life experiences Id much rather go to a beach a hookup than to just sit at home w a stupid t shirt!

  5. When I see people wearing supreme, I just tell them you’re still aren’t shit. Lol the guy wearing supreme but riding the subway cracked me up!. Supreme please make a condom for $50 and I’ll use it then sell it for $500

  6. I can get a hoodie that's pretty much identical to the real and it will only cost $50, no one would even notice it's a fake. These idiots who buy these ridiculously priced items are snowflake sheep. It's really pathetic tbh.

  7. People of America are stupid!!..🙄

    Plus " Supreme" know how to market their products and get all these goats to buy them…

  8. People are fuckin stupid these days smdh even these females now in days so obsessed with makeup and eyelashes always doing stupid videos on snapchat of how nice their eyelashes look smh idiots im telling you 😆

  9. People should remind brands who they serve and boycott them till their stocks drop significantly then when the prices drop
    Re up

  10. Currently I am wearing Supreme logo shorts cost me 4$ in india. American peoples are crazy and headless chickens.

  11. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg etc wear normal $20 tees.
    Broke People wear Supreme just to get attention.but, still nobody give damn.Idiots.

  12. I remember supreme being a mid-ranged skate brand in like 2013ish and all the dudes in high school would wear it, like wtf

  13. Someone should drive past a supreme line and throw paint on all the people waiting in line, bumbass loser waiting in the cold to buy a t-shirt likely made in a sweatshop, get a grip

  14. Ew, I don't like clothing or products covered in logos, it looks so sleazy and dumb. New money comes to mind and that isn't a complement. I prefer elegance, you don't see rich folks like Bill Gates all covered in logos, he has taste.

  15. Can someone please answer this please(not trying to sound like a douche) but supreme sells something then people that buy it charge it for a extremely high price and thats why supreme is expensive because of the buyers that buy the product and bump the price up because its limited edition clothing and there is more people that make money selling supreme then people that actually genuinely like the brand. Correct?

  16. Stupid as hell, buying a sweater for $3500. Could have it made for cheaper, never even heard of this brand i wouldnt rock that shit though clean tees only.

  17. I love how you can just..
    Insert a shape
    Change the color to red
    Type "Supreme" in it
    Then make it into an image, flip it over, and iron it onto a plain white shirt.

  18. Personally ill only buy brands for in the hundreds only if there built to last a lifetime never will i touch a brand that can so easily be cloned like this which is everything so in a sense stupidity at its finest paying 1000$ for a jacket makes you look like a dumbass nothing more if you dont understand the potential to make a exact copy you clearly understand nothing each stitch can be copied and automated

  19. Essentially, they are branded like diamonds.
    The clothes have no value but because of the supply restriction, people want to buy, despite the fact that its worthless and it's a dumb purchase.

  20. Earning money is easiest from stupid people, disregard of their wealth. The rich will pay and the poor will work hard to pay.

  21. Because people are stupid enough thinking they are rich even though they wasted their money on someone thing any one can buy cheaper

  22. If supreme would use premium materials like silk and rare metals like gold, Then it would be understandable.

  23. 6:00 'come out with really cool items' funny how you can slap a brand on something ALREADY invented and charge way more for it. Gee thanks supreme I always wanted a crowbar with 'SUPREME' on it.

  24. Don't you see the red triangle? What do you mean why is it worth alot
    It's red and it says supreme and people are insecure morons who buy stuff like this to have stuff that other people don't have and makes them feel higher up because they wasted money on some garbage

  25. It's not "Kanye wore these shoes, now I want them"

    It's "Kanye wore these shoes, now everybody thinks everybody else wants them even if nobody really wants them, so they must be worth something"

    The concept of demand creates the demand itself where little to no demand truly exists.

    This false demand generates value which creates real demand.

    Now you have people who want these shoes, not because Kanye wore them, but because they are valuable.

  26. Of course it's stupid af to buy a box logo tee for 1200, or God forbid, to go broke for a stupid accessory
    But if one can afford it, makes them feel good, and is actually about their streetwear shit, we shouldn't care.
    It's these 10-18 yr old hypebeast who basically kill this, especially annoyingly flex stuff their parents paid for and they don't even know why this is dope. Too many of those kids rn tho

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