He thought that they looked like they were having the best time and then he realised that one of them was his friend. The thing that all those brands have in common is that they were sort of filling a gap, a void that was there in the market, rather than following the trends. James Jebbia is an English businessman and fashion designer. "If we could have done a thing with Louis Vuitton 25 years ago, we would have.". We’re still influenced by many things—it can come from anywhere. So that really started it, that we’ve got to make our pieces of the highest quality to stand up to what was already being made. “It’s great, my skateboarding skills definitely help me on the job,” he added. And if it was really good, it would sell. Why shouldn’t that tee be really good? And I think for them it was like, “We’ve gotta be doing some of our own stuff.” And I think they did a great job. It’s incredibly rare to see outside of the elite luxury brands like Hermès and Chanel. Are you at all concerned with the position of the brand’s legacy? The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. It was a new experience because while I’d worked with Vans (through Supreme) for a long time, this was the first shoe that was a completely new style that I was able to make. James Jebbia has never attempted to conform to industry standards. In 2015 Peter Bici explained that “if we saw a skateboarder we would automatically gravitate toward each other. That makes me feel proud. But it was also never really a plan there to just be like, “Let’s make this line.” We have to make some stuff. I don’t think we have to choose that. Not only was he a skater, but he also got to add ‘model’ to his list of accomplishments. When James Jebbia opened the first Supreme store in Manhattan, the main purpose of the store was to sell products from other brands that were popular among the skating community. And sometimes we’re the people who are actually pushing things. All rights reserved. Make what we felt we really liked. This is largely thanks to his role in Larry Clark’s aforementioned film Kids, where he earned himself the title of being the breakout star. I definitely miss it, it was a special time in my life. Yes, whatever you’re into, you don’t just have to dress that way. A lot of times we didn’t leave the block, we just hung out and people watched.” He was part of the Supreme 1994 skate team, but eventually retired from pro skateboarding. Or do you have major influences, inspirations, that have led you to think this way? We’re in the business where that can happen—it is what it is. And, at the Democratic presidential debate this week, he said that the wealth disparity in America [] Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. People would come in and be like, “This shop is shit. In 2011, The Vans DQM General opened in New York’s historic SoHo district and then in July 2013 The Vans DQM General concept expanded to Boston. Do you feel any kind of kinship with these luxury houses? Again, at that time, when we were doing things—apart from Helmut Lang, Chanel—there wasn’t really Louis Vuitton clothes. In 1995 Larry Clark’s popular film KIDS essentially focused on aspects of the Supreme skate team, notably Peter Bici and Mike Hernandes, so these may be names you have come across, especially if you are already a Supreme fan. Most people, at that time, were used to skate brands being presented a certain way and then looking at us—well, that’s not what a skate brand’s meant to do. We’d actually have some seasons where—there’s our summer stuff, and we were sold out of the product at the end of March. It’s apparent that much of the collection references vintage sportswear designs from the ’80s and ’90s. Can you give some insight on your intention for selling the collection this way? So that wasn’t a thing, ever, that I thought we were going to make any clothes. What can fashion learn from this mega-sale? I didn’t know what scale it was on at all, but when I finished it ended up being a global ad campaign, pretty random” he once explained. For us, the reason that our quality has been high, and I feel that our pricing has been reasonable, is because we don’t wholesale. If you look at what we do, a lot of the shapes are very simple. Why are people talking about this?” And what are we gonna say? He said he’d gone through some old shit and found them. James Jebbia wasn't a skater but loved skater fashion and hired skaters on his staff. I’ve got people that I’ve worked with from day one. I think the reason that we do things the way we do is because we respect the customer. Was there an awareness of the high-low element of it? We’d remain who we are; we wouldn’t change. Again, in Japan, they mix things up really well, too. Why shouldn’t we display things as nice as we can? In some ways, when we opened, if there had been great stuff for us to buy, we wouldn’t have needed to make anything. He showed that you can still be yourself when everyone else is doing things one way in hip-hop. We were certainly aware of what was going on, but I don’t think we look at something and say, “Oh yeah, we’ve got to do something like Chanel.” But I’ve got to say: Helmut Lang at that time was really important, personally. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Bekijk meer ideeën over Edie campbell, Herentassen, Futuristische voertuigen. When it comes to his post-skateboarding life, Estevez has been somewhat different to the other skaters on the Supreme skate team. I think that we’ve just evolved. The civilians watch you and the pressure is on, but there’s no bank to ledge to skate, there’s only fire!”. or Agnès B. Your thing is meant to be kind of scruffy. To make like the president and keep it cool. We would have done certain things back then, but now—we’ve done things from Louis Vuitton, but still work with Anti Hero or Thrasher. We weren’t blind to FUBU either. ANX Originals notably collaborated with Converse and produced a reworking of the Chuck Taylor Hi for their PRODUCT(RED) range. In other words: Are some of these moves you wouldn’t have made 20 years ago, but for some reason feel right today? Jebbia was and still is interested in the “raw” — the true skaters and lifestyle entrepreneurs: The influence was the people who were around the shop–the skaters. I remember having to make Rodney [Smith, Zoo York Founder] recut those 777 boards with his jigsaw into better street shapes.”, After he had a big falling out with Zoo York, Hickey was recruited to ride for Supreme, which at the time was a start-up brand with virtually no presence in New York City. The rise of skateboarding and popularity of Tony Hawk combined with Stussy's surfwear created an iconic look for the skateboarding scene, … He was elevating things. When it comes to his post-skateboarding life, Estevez has been somewhat different to the other skaters on the Supreme skate team. Apart from a sweatshirt. I’ll always remember Pharrell at the MTV Music Awards, he just had camo cargo shorts and a tee on, and a trucker hat. Our thing still has to have a natural edge to it, so it’s not like we’re trying to soften anything. He is known for being the founder of the skateboarding shop and clothing brand Supreme New York. Why shouldn’t those jeans be really good? If we couldn’t do that, it’d be tough. We never wanted to say, “We’re a company doing basic shit.” We always wanted to do things that we feel people would really get a kick out of, really love. They filled a void. You might’ve worn a Powell shirt or something but that was it. James Jebbia is the founder of Supreme, the skate wear brand. It wasn’t really “This is what everybody’s doing, so we’re doing that.” It was fairly consistent. They both had their own distinctive look. The brand was founded by James Jebbia, who was born in the US and lived in England until age 19. Below we introduce to you the original skate team who heavily influenced not only Supreme and James Jebbia, but also future customers and Supreme fans. The team that was made up of Ryan Hickey, Justin Pierce, Peter Bici, Gio Estevez, Chris Keeffe and Mike Hernandes – essentially the founding members of the image that Supreme now exudes today. We’re not sitting back saying, “This brand just did this, let’s…” Most of what we do comes from a real place, but it evolves—the way people dress and what they’re comfortable with. High quality James Jebbia gifts and merchandise. Here we pick apart the OG skate team and tell you about its members. Yes, but it’s the same as I feel now. Has this always been part of your vision? “We didn’t have ‘skate fashion’ in New York back then either,” Hickey said. Larry was working on his future directing debut about the lives of New York street kids. He said “We’d skate the banks, financial district [and] make our way back to Supreme. Jebbia created one of the most anticipated brands in the fashion world and accumulated monumental success. Why shouldn’t we use a great photographer? Supreme got the attention of the fashion world early on. He was doing a Gore-Tex jacket, he was using the very best zippers. It was a combination of that. Short answer: No. Of course. While skateboarding in Washington Square Park in New York, Justin was discovered by controversial photographer Larry Clark. Something that was missing, kind of. Enjoy! And I don’t have a crystal ball. Some of the things that we do in the shop—we have no choice, actually, with the way we display things. To a certain extent, Supreme is utilitarian—for skaters who have a stronger eye than just “I don’t give a shit about what I wear.”. Well, they have to, because skaters wear the shit out of everything. I could say at the beginning, too, A.P.C. We’re trying to make things for today’s youth. https://www.gq.com/story/supreme-james-jebbia-extended-interview “I was hanging out with my old friend at his house when all of a sudden I see these five skateboarders skating in the middle of the street, all wild and crazy doing power slides.” he explained to Highsnobiety. Eventually Bici, like the rest of the Supreme skate team, traded in skating as a profession for something else, which in this case was firefighting. I was also dealing with back and ankle problems. He was a British-born skater and actor who grew up in America. We have nothing to sell in April, May, June, July. The video was called “A Love Supreme” and followed a similar aesthetic to the famous producer Spike Jonze’s 1991 skate film for Blind Skateboards. Ad Choices, Supreme Leader: The Extended James Jebbia Interview, For GQ’s August 2019 issue, writer Noah Johnson connected with Supreme founder James Jebbia for a rare interview as part of our story on. Trending Posts. Harmony Corine, the writer behind Kids, described him in this way: “his style, his swagger, his whole thing was kind of unprecedented. It was more out of necessity, when we made things, not having the certainty and means to be able to order an item for the whole season. On the side of the quality of the product, in the early days, was there a steep learning curve? We’d get high in the back of Supreme, then make our way to Astor Place.”. That was just cool. 42 Pieces from Inside Supreme's Own Archive. With a lot of the skate brands at the time, the quality wasn’t good; the fabrics were kind of crappy. At first, if we were doing a sweat—and you bought a Lee or a Champion one, that would be of a high quality—we would have to make ours of equally high quality. We’d make some tees, some sweats; if they don’t sell, we’re going to be stuck with them. Since the birth of his brand it has grown from an underground project in to a global street wear monster, with a culture all its own. After the success of Kids in 1995, he thought about pursuing a career in acting. Supreme capitalised on its brand through clever and limited edition collaborations that bolstered its desirability and generated an … Were you looking to fashion brands? As skate teams go, none have been quite as influential or popular as the Supreme skate team. So what’s his prescription for surviving these sallow economic times? I remember when they first opened, they came out, Check Your Head–era, and they started with Ben Davis. But it’d also be another element—not skate but a sensibility of being in New York. Now that’s unheard of.”. It is a culture. Jan 10, 2018 - Explore Tabby newton's board "Skating" on Pinterest. The products feel designed and manufactured with similar meticulousness. It wasn’t like, “This is what’s really trendy right now.” It was more like, “This is, for our very limited customer base, what we feel is cool.”. On that note, you said that brands like A Bathing Ape, Neighborhood forced you to elevate the Supreme product. It’s the way people would mix it up. How much of that is intentional as part of the Supreme design ethos? Our windows would have been smashed. If other people have done it, or we’re not at the forefront of things, we just don’t do it. Today Hickey still lives in New York City, with a residence in Hell’s Kitchen. Do you remember what the first cut-and-sew piece you made was? I’m proud that I’ve worked with a lot of people for a long time. Now, I think people buy a lot more clothing than they used to. He has two sons and he now makes a living as a fisherman, but when he has time he still tries to skate. You don’t have to be stuck in a box, whatever you’re into. Six members of the team lost their lives on that fateful day. He was hired after chatting with James Jebbia at the launch party but thought he was supposed to show up at 11am instead of 9. You couldn’t really get that stuff because there were hardly any skate shops.”, When he was around 24 years old he began to transition away from professional skating. We’re always doing things our own way. That’s really the criteria. We could do something that opens people’s minds to something they hadn’t known or thought about before. But our thing was to try and make things as good as the best brands out there—but not the fashion brands—and have that quality that people are going to wear these items for a long, long time. You’re not meant to care. Or it isn’t accessible to them. It wasn’t a shop full of basics where we’d have stuff for two months. Your model for weekly product drops has totally rattled the fashion world. James Jebbia built a fiercely independent, internationally obsessed-over, street-fashion cult and skating-goods empire as a purveyor of clothes you can wear, art you can ride, and sneakers you can’t find. So we had to make our product that was as good as the brands that kids in New York were wearing: Polo, Nautica, Carhartt, Levi’s. Pierce was cast as Caspar in the film and he became a household name. The skate brand founded by James Jebbia sold for £1.6 billion to VF Corp, which owns Vans, The North Face, Timberland, and Dickies. It wasn’t overthinking, it’s just how we approached things. But I think Supreme is just as much a part of the fashion lineage that includes other designers we’ve discussed: Helmut Lang, Ralph Lauren, and to some extent, more avant-garde labels like Comme des Garçons and Undercover. But I’d say the main influence came from the streets of New York, and it was people like A-Ron, Harold [Hunter], Justin [Pierce], just how they’d mix stuff up—they’d wear their stuff in a very particular, real way. He was so good that he could count both Supreme and Vans as sponsors. He is well known for welcoming fashion`s embrace of skate culture. That’s just really the mindset. The story of James Jebbia's fashion label, ... One day you’re skating with all the boys, and then one day you’re in the real world and you’re like, 'Wait a minute, it’s not the same.' GQ may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. And if it’s been done, we don’t do it. You may not be checking for that, but it’s something that’s very cool. How do you think you’ve developed this kind of sensibility? Bici found that he was skating everyday after that and eventually, after honing his skills and craft, he received sponsorship opportunities with Nimbus. Supreme was founded in New York in 1994 by James Jebbia, an English man with a passion for skating. Even a blank tee at the time—Oneita would make them—were of good quality. A few of the recent collaborations have leaned into fashion in a pretty direct way: Vuitton, Gaultier, Comme des Garçons, and before them, Thom Browne, A.P.C., Adam Kimmel. I think most of the time, people can tell that’s a Supreme piece. We want a shirt which is around $100. 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