We love Supreme. We really do.
The problem is that we all love Supreme. All of us, and a little too much.
It’s not that they don’t make good clothes. They do, most of the time. It’s just that over the past year or two, as the love affair between mainstream fashion and streetwear grew ever more torrid, it feels like Supreme has reached such a critical mass that it now finds itself in a precarious position.
It no longer matters if Supreme is intrinsically cool (if there is such a thing) or if their clothes and designs are actually good (all subjective questions, to be sure). How cool can a brand really be if there’s an entire generation of pretentious mallrats and privileged Instagram trolls who not only wear it, but smoke it, shoot cash with it, and flip their middle fingers with it? Then eventually, all their dads will start doing the same (looking at you, Julius Babao). At this rate, much as it would be a shame, it seems like only a matter of time before Supreme—a brand that’s been around since 1994—burns out.
But while Supreme still has a heartbeat, it’s bound to keep churning out collections and referencing different subjects and cultures the way it always has. The problem, of course, is that it also stands to dilute these cultures and subjects by introducing them to an audience that only cares about the brand as social currency, and not about its subjects and themes.
How many of the people who bought the Neil Young Tee from Supreme’s SS15 collection actually knew who Neil Young was? How many of the kids who wore the Sade Tee from Supreme’s SS17 collection have actually heard a Sade song? Not a lot, likely.
Next on the list of things it may ruin is Akira, a 1988 anime film adapted from the manga of the same name. It’s a beautiful, groundbreaking work of science fiction that’s widely considered to be the greatest animated sci-fi film of all time. Akira has garnered a cult following over the years, and now, it’s about to be introduced to the post-a-vape-selfie-on-Instagram community vis-a-vis Supreme.
Speaking at a gallery in Tokyo, Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo announced that after years of relenting, he finally agreed to a Supreme collaboration, which is now on the way.
No date has yet been announced, but it’s reasonable to expect that when the collection drops, many of the first people to get their hands on it won’t know a thing about Akira.