Reading: Why The Supreme Louis Vuitton Collaboration is a Big Fucking Deal
Why The Supreme Louis Vuitton Collaboration is a Big Fucking Deal
Feature image from Louis Vuitton Instagram.
A few weeks before the official announcement you saw rumblings and leaks through social media. The fuccboi’s were already drooling over the box logo tee’s, planning months in advance how they were going to try to get their hands on this release. So When Louis Vuitton debuted the upcoming Supreme collaboration during Paris Fashion Week both the fashion and streetwear industry were taken back that this partnership has actually become a reality. Many are calling this a monumental moment in fashion history. A luxurious french fashion house and a New York Skateboard brand collaborating on a collection that mutually benefits both parties equally. We don’t need to tell you that this is a big fucking deal. What we are going to explain is why this upcoming collection is a big fucking deal.
The history between streetwear and high fashion has never been as buddy, buddy as it has become now. Their first initial beef came when streetwear wasn’t even an industry. The infamous Dapper Dan out of Harlem used the famous monogram pattern to outfit high profile members of the Hip Hop community with made to order pieces. With no internet (it was afterall the 80’s) it took a while for the French House to catch on, and eventually Dan was hit with a cease and desist order, and a raid from the FBI.
Supreme and Louis Vuitton’s relationship began in 2000. Before streetwear and high fashion became so closely aligned, they traditionally played in separate sandboxes. Every once in awhile streetwear would poke the bigger more luxurious brother by appropriating its iconic slogans and branding known as the Logo Flip. Streetwear brands would re-work it’s own logo into the mold of a high fashion brands. Supreme once famously released a collection of t-shirts and skateboards that closey resemebled the iconic Louis Vuttion monogram logo. The shirts were only available for a matter of weeks before the skate brand was hit with a cease and desist order from the french label. The legal action only fueled the popularity of the brand.
Much has changed since 2000.
No longer does High Fashion look down upon Streetwear. Instead of removing any co-sign from the industry, they have embraced them with open arms. Whether it’s taking traditional streetwear silhouettes and re-appropriating them on the runways, or outfitting popular hip-hop figures, and sitting them in the front row during fashion week. High fashion is now more than willing to do business with it’s perceived lower counterpart. The rise and popularity of Alessandro Michele Gucci can be directly related to the endless amount of co-signs from hip-hop tastemakers such as A$AP Rocky, Rihanna, and Travis Scott, who are prominent celebrities in the world of streetwear.
Vuitton’s partnership with Supreme is the ultimate co-sign from the king of streetwear. A partnership that has the opportunity to make inroads to thousands of millennials who will now think of the luxury brand first when they have the disposable income to spend. The french brand chooses wisely when dipping into their pool of brands and celebrities to collaborate with. Vuitton has all the money to market the hell out of any collection, but the one thing they can never buy is cool.
It only makes sense they decided to collaborate with Supreme, a brand that has an ever flowing fountain of cultural capital at their disposal.
For Supreme the collaboration with the french house is the official coming out party into mainstream fashion for the New York based brand. Yes, the brand has grown leaps and bounds since it’s inception with an online store, multiple stores in Japan, and two in Europe. But even with such growth the brand has always been able to control its core message and branding as a hard to come by alluring brand. Keeping supply low and demand high is a fundamental characteristic of a popular streetwear brand and no one has done it better than Supreme. It’s the reason you see camp outs at their store, and sky high resale prices for their collections. The brand for much of their existence have always relied on this business philosophy, and it’s a large part of their success and longevity in menswear.
The partnership with Vuitton pushes the brand into uncharted territory and out of their comfort zone. For the first time you will be able to purchase Supreme branded products in Columbus Ohio and Indianapolis. Does Louis’s large channel of distribution and accessibility hurt’s Supreme’s credibility? Or will the expensive prices of luxury goods do enough to protect the New York brands street cred that not everyone will be able to get their hands on the collection? We will soon find out.