The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: SUPREME Collabs
WORDS BY BIANKA FARMAKIS
The Birkenstock sporting population finds a sacred safe space on Sydney University’s campus. The German-chic sandal is less a statement and more a symbol of unification: from the feet of ‘stocks and socks’ elite college jocks, to the soles of the leftist of left-wing students willing to fork out the $89 spend.
But whether you choose to wear the hideous footwear for some skewed sense of style or simply for comfort, unlike every other popular brand since the 90’s, we won’t be seeing an exclusive Supreme collaboration with Birkenstock anytime soon.
Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert likened a collaboration with Supreme to basically being a form of “prostitution” for the brand (because apparently that’s a bad thing?), further expressing he doesn’t “give a shit about fashion” in an interview with The Cut.
Considering his disregard for style is prevalent in the product he sells, it’s with no broken heart that we don’t welcome in what would’ve been the 'summer street shoe' of the season.
To anyone that is upset about the fact that they won’t look like a Virgil Abloh x Noah’s Ark wannabe this season though, quell your tears with a trip down memory lane instead…
1994: SUPREME X TAXI DRIVER TEE
One of the first, and definitely most iconic Supreme x “insert pop culture reference here” t-shirts to emerge. In eight different colours, who wouldn’t feel cool and subversive with a mohawk-rocking, Robert De Niro on their t-shirt. You talkin’ to me?
The popular Japanese street fashion line teamed up with Supreme to sell one t-shirt with the Puerto Rico flag in the centre. With “East Meets West” labelled across the shirt, Supreme managed to solve racism and unite opposing cultures through fashion. How progressive. Is it innovative? Not really, but if you find one in a boutique on Cat Street in Jingu-mae it’s probably worth $3.7 million
2000: SUPREME X GUCCI STICKER
This is the $400 sticker I would spend my tax return on and not think twice.
Who doesn’t love a superhero/comic book-esque font in this Marvel/DC obsessed world? Can’t wait for a reboot with the Avengers on it.
2002: BAPE [A BATHING APE]
ABS may look empty, but really it’s just filled with students in this collab, camouflaged in the brand’s iconic army print.
Fashion’s biggest war crime. Ever.
You know that brand that everyone’s obsessed with again, the one you can find in General Pants? Well it did a collab too, and much like every iconic partnership in the early 2000’s, it was as hot as Britney and Madonna’s 2003 VMAs kiss.
2007: NORTH FACE
And thus hiking wear forever became a staple in the streetwear aesthetic. The North Face x Supreme Summit Series was available in two classic ‘90s “snow beach” colorways, and looked similar to everything at Billabong and Roxy at the time, but it was cooler because it cost seven times as much.
Breakfast of Champions, more like Streetwear of Champions.
Hugh Hefner meets hypebeast. If I was hot enough to be a centrefold, I would do it in this jacket collection.
2012: COMME DES GARCONS
Sack the classic heart with eyes, Red Kawakubo’s diffusion line included shirts and hats with Supreme written backwards and THAT is innovation sweetie.
2013: JEAN-MICHEL BASQUAIT
Calling all art freaks, this clothing line was the subservice, ‘pop-art’ movement of our generation. RIP JMB.
2014: BROOKS BROTHERS
TFW when preppy, white frat boys want to look hood!
2014: NIKE AIR FORCE 1 HIGH
These shoes are the Rosetta stone of the fashion world, because they decree every style convention of the 21st century.
2017: LOUIS VUITTON
Never forget the obnoxious, red and white, faux leather line that truly made us aware of Supreme’s power and presence in the street-style landscape.