Over the past three years I’ve spent studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology I’ve sat through many a peer debate, classroom discussion and teacher lecture covering the topic of Supreme. Even the industry professionals who taught my classes couldn’t wrap their brain around the unparalleled and unorthodox success of the brand. Whether kicking themselves for not thinking of the idea in their career heyday or simply admiring the revolutionary changes that one brand brought about to the entire industry in a matter or years, it’s safe to say that I have gotten an earful of Supreme speculation in the past few years.
And to be honest, I get it. Would I wait in line eight hours just to spend $600 on a printed tee shirt? No – but I do like their style, appreciate their innovation and overall respect their business. However, when I read the article Refinery29 posted following the drop of their New York Post collaboration my opinion of the brand did shift in an unfavorable way. After the Supreme x MTA collaboration that dropped last year, it was no surprise to me to see the brand partnering with another pinnacle New York City establishment. By plastering their name on the cover of a classic New York City paper it establishes the brand as a staple of the city. As if buying Supreme is equivalent to the normalcy in which New Yorkers buy their weekly Metrocard or Sunday paper.
Again, I get it. New Yorkers will never stop buying these things, their lives simply depend on them, and tourists will continue to buy these even just to save them as souvenirs. My problem with this collaboration is the choice of newspaper, especially considering the New York Post’s spotty political past.
The New York Post’s downfall began shortly after the paper got bought by Rupert Murdoch in 1976, which is when the paper transitioned from a liberal and creative-minded journal into the gossipy tabloid style paper we are familiar with today. The paper completely abandoned its respectable roots for a future of gruesome, inappropriate, conservative and subtly sexist content. Still don’t see the problem with Supreme’s choice of publication? Well, let’s do the inevitable and bring Trump into the conversation. President Trump used the Post’s gossip columnist, Cindy Adams, as a messenger for years during the Post’s 90’s heyday. Feeding her information that would work in his favor after she published them. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, I suggest you do a Google search on Trump and Murdoch himself. Murdoch was Trump’s longstanding “frenemy”, but recently their relationship has blossomed and Murdoch now stands as one of Trump’s closest confidants and advisors.
So what’s my point? The paper sold out hours after hitting newsstands, and has been continuously selling online for mega-inflated prices. The point remains the same as it does with many of the other political conversations that have been held in the months following Trump’s election. Don’t think your voice counts? Don’t think your vote will make a difference in the upcoming primary election? Well money always counts, and every dollar you spend is a vote my friends. A vote for sustainability, a vote for ethics, a vote for equality, a vote for change. You wanna spend $600 on an overpriced, glorified tee shirt – be my guest. But maybe just dig a little deeper before buying into the hype of a product. Who’s making it? What does it stand for? Who is it supporting behind the scenes? Is it supporting you? Is is supporting the people whose rights are being taken away as we speak, or is it funding the exact people who are working to take away those rights? At the end of the day, it’s your choice, I’m just urging you to try and take the right one.