Streetwear brand Supreme has been gaining traction with its cult following of hype-hungry collectors and window shoppers over the past 20 years. Started in a small storefront on Lafayette St. in downtown Manhattan, a group of skateboarders and artists have built the brand into a juggernaut trend-setter of the fashion industry. An idiosyncratic spectacle of consumption, the brand’s ultra-limited releases drop both online and in the six brick-and-mortar locations in two hemispheres; the merchandise usually sells out in seconds, often before most web browsers can load the shop page. Some collectors have even resorted to employing online bots to beat others to the checkout page.
The demand for rare items, like the recent Louis Vuitton collaboration, renders a pop-up shop with resale items kind of a big deal. Long recognizing Supreme’s occult resale market, Motivation, a streetwear boutique on South University, teamed up with five separate collectors to fill the store with Supreme items for one weekend.
There was a small line forming in front of the store before its 11:00 a.m. opening on Friday morning. Though the demographic trends younger, this crowd has zero problem spending $100+ for a T-shirt.
Items in the store ranged from standard “Bogo” hoodie sweatshirts and five-panel hats to a Coleman CT200U Mini Bike ($4900) emblazoned with the brand’s box logo. The shop also featured items from Supreme’s collaboration with North Face and a $4800 hoodie born of the Supreme X Louis Vuitton line. More utilitarian items included a pair of Supreme chopsticks ($99) or a Supreme toothbrush ($25).
To illustrate the price inflation on some of these coveted items, consider the Supreme bumper sticker. The brand will drop these stickers for roughly $3; collectors re-sell them for around $50. Merely distilling Supreme’s voracious mystique to limited supply amplifying demand cheats everyone by attempting to decipher exactly what makes the brand attractive. Though defying description, it might have something to do with elevating apparel to the stratum of art.
Check out the Supreme collectors pop-up shop through Sunday
1203 S. University Avenue in Ann Arbor
Monday – Thursday: Noon – 7PM
Friday & Saturday: Noon – 9PM
Sunday: Noon – 6PM