You wouldn’t know it today, given the mobs of people who regularly queue up out front, but back in 1994 — before “street style” and “hypebeast” were common parlance — Supreme was just a not-so-successful skate shop on Lafayette Street. In the 25 years since, the brand has catapulted into popularity (thanks in part to its success selling branded T-shirts in a bid to increase cash flow). Today, Supreme ranks alongside Stüssy, which together shaped the skate and street wear culture that reigns today. Without Supreme, you might never have heard of Palace (or Jonah Hill wearing Palace). To mark its 25-year anniversary, Supreme has partnered with Phaidon to release Supreme (Vol. 2), a 351-page, hardcover visual history that looks like a yearbook for a school you weren’t cool enough to go to.
Supreme owes its success to its unquestionably strong brand identity. The book touches on its most noted collaborations with the North Face, Louis Vuitton, and even the MTA, and campaigns with Kate Moss, Tyler, the Creator, and FKA Twigs. It also serves as an homage to the original group of New York skaters — then considered by most to be misfits and troublemakers more than trendsetters — who believed in and nurtured the brand before its potential was fully realized. Whether you like Supreme or not, as culture critic Carlo McCormick puts it in the intro, “Supreme was and will always remain a fundamental, unflinching expression of skate culture.” Shifting and growing with the times.
Scroll below to see some images from Supreme (Vol. 2), out now from Phaidon.