Just last week, it was announced that Louis Vuitton and Supreme were to collaborate for Louis Vuitton’s A/W 2017 collection. This was something that I simultaneously never expected to happen, but also saw as inevitable.
Streetwear has gone from a subcultural movement to the mainstream. While his name may not ring a bell to some, James Jebbia has taken streetwear’s golden child, Supreme, from the shadows to the forefront of fashion. Supreme is one of the most popular brands in the world at the moment, and there are few brands with as much staying power as Louis Vuitton. The French fashion house is the type of brand that many young people grow up aspiring towards, while Supreme is the type of brand that a young demographic has flocked to over the years. What better way to tie the younger audience to a brand like Louis V (and the opposite, as well) than a collaboration between these two brands?
From duffle bags and backpacks to box logo tees and jackets, this collection features items to attract frequent Louis Vuitton customers and passionate Supreme supporters alike. Supreme is a brand known for boasting severely excess demand on many of their releases: Box logos and collaboration tees sell out in seconds and then go up on sites like Grailed at a five-times markup. I imagine this collaboration won’t be any different.
Thinking about how much a box logo Supreme tee with the LV monogram will resell for simply blows my mind. Hell, I’d bet that the baseball bats with the monogram grip will fly off the shelves too. While there are many people who buy Supreme because they have grown up in skateboard culture, there are so many people who buy Supreme for the exclusivity, and there really isn’t another word that describes Louis Vuitton better than exclusive.
The reason why this collaboration makes so much sense to me is the motivations behind the consumers of each brand. For those who don’t know, when Supreme releases a box logo tee, things tend to get a bit out of hand. While some profit-seeking individuals buy them to resell online, the reason why the people who decide to wear them are so passionate about getting their hands on a box logo is the fact that it represents the pinnacle of the brand’s exclusivity. Wearing a box logo is a way of displaying one’s location in the hierarchical ecosystem of Supreme consumers. Maybe it’s because it tells others that the $500 profit that could have been realized by selling the shirt online means less than being able to wear the shirt, or that spending $600 on a T-shirt doesn’t mean anything. I think that a Louis Vuitton bag says something very similar.
Maybe I’m a bit jaded, but I doubt that everyone with a LV bag simply adores the monogram. Instead, I think that many people have the bags because of the inaccessibility. The decision systems that customers of both Supreme and Louis Vuitton utilize are very similar, and while the brand’s demographics may not completely align, this may be the kind of collaboration that is worth taking out a payday advance for an avid Supreme fan.