Authentic Designer and Streetwear – that’s what Top Floor Gallery is all about. So it would be a massive disservice to everyone out there, and utterly disgraceful for us to not address this fusion of two fashion worlds that we’ve seen time and time again.
We’re talking about Good ol’ Supreme taking inspiration from high-end designer fashion labels. Yes, we all know that brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Balenciaga and Fendi (along with numerous others) have been dipping their feet in the waters of streetwear – the most noteworthy being the funky, chunky dad-shoe sneakers that are ubiquitous in the fashion industry today.
And of course, we can’t forget the collaboration that made jaws drop, for both good and not-so-good reasons – the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection.
But before this official collaboration, did you know that Supreme have dabbled in designer designs? (try saying that 5 times fast)
That’s right. Outside of the iconic Supreme box logo, the NYC-born brand is well-known for generating ideas from existing brands and artwork. Supreme have made some bold moves, such as the 1999 Supreme “Patagonia” logo seen on a collection of crewnecks, windbreakers and fleeces.
But no move is bolder than combining its skate-oriented brand with premium, luxury, creme dela creme designer labels. Some may call it ‘paying homage’, others may call it ‘borrowing’, while some may question the integrity and originality of the brand (just like with the Bapesta sneakers by BAPE).
Regardless of what stance you take, there’s no denying that Supreme have released pieces that will go down in streetwear history and remain on the grail-list of committed collectors and hyped-up Hypebeasts alike. So here’s a run-down on 6 Designer-inspired Supreme box logos and items that have been released over the years.
1. Supreme “Gucci” Box Logo
Year Released: 2000
The colour combination of red and dark green in fashion culture has become synonymous with the Italian fashion house, Gucci. Supreme adapted these “Gucci” colours and the way in which they’re arranged on Gucci products (A red rectangle sandwiched between 2 green rectangles), creating box logo T-shirts in black, white and grey. Unlike the majority of box logos released by Supreme, the actual Supreme spellout is very faint, almost as if it was painted over and coated by the green and red.
Although not as sought-after and thus available on the resell market for a slightly lower price, is the gold and red variation which was released on Burgundy and navy Supreme T-shirts.
2. Supreme Louis Vuitton "Cease and Desist" Box Logo
Year Released: 2000
Although Gucci expressed no complaints about Supreme’s iteration of its brand, that wasn’t the case with Louis Vuitton.
Back in 2000, 17 years before the official collaboration, Supreme actually released Box logo T-shirts, skateboard decks, caps and beanies emblazoned with a monogram pattern that closely resembled that of Louis Vuittons, both in terms of design and colour – the only apparent difference being the “LV” replaced by a dollar-sign S. Even a care-not attitude brand like Supreme were aware that there were boundaries that should not be crossed.
But little did the recklessly progressive skate brand know they would be headhunted by the Luxury French Label just 2 weeks after the release.
A cease and desist letter was sent to Supreme, which essentially meant that by law, all the operations related to the monogram collection had to be stopped.
Louis Vuitton even went as far as demanding the products be burnt to avoid them circulating any further and getting in peoples’ hands.
As far as we know, Supreme followed orders and the issue was not escalated further by either brand. Louis Vuitton continued to go about its business, and so did Supreme.
But this whole situation should never be left out of the history books – after all, if it wasn’t for this conflict, the fusion of Designer and Streetwear may not have evolved to the extent that it has today.
The “Cease and Desist” collection consisted of 3 skateboard decks, 5 box logo tees (red, yellow, black, grey, brown), 2 beanies, and 2 caps.
These are much more tasteful than the official LV X Supreme collaboration (feel free to @ us).
3. Supreme "Versace" Collection
Year Released: 2014
Well, actually it was Supreme x Nike, with various pieces decked out in a Versace-like metallic gold foliage motif.
Most would be in agreement that the Foamposites were the standout of the collection – released in a black and red colourway. But these definitely aren’t for those who like to maintain a subtle aesthetic.
The uniqueness of the Nike Foamposite silhouette combined with the extravagant Versace-esque pattern isn’t the most versatile shoe, but if pulled off well, it’s a sure way to create a fire fit.
It’s not surprising that Nike and Supreme decided to go with such a divisive sneaker.
Introduced in 1997, the Foamposite was originally designed for 6-time NBA championship winning basketball player, Scottie Pippen.
However, the kicks didn’t gain much attention from the masses until they caught the eye of Penny Hardway who chose to rock the “Royal” Posites when playing for Orlando Magic.
But we digress.
The Supreme x Nike Foams were released in two colorways, sitting alongside matching basketball jerseys and shorts.
4. Supreme "Burberry" Box Logo
Year Released: 1997
The timeless Nova check. Since its establishment back in 1856, Burberry had been represented premium-quality, luxurious fashion for the upper class. However, during the ‘90s and early 2000s, designer-brand counterfeits were becoming increasingly prevalent, donned by lower and middle income consumers who couldn’t splash the cash to get the real deal. Working class “Chavs” and football hooligans in the UK were particularly drawn to Burberry’s iconic Nova Check.
In an attempt to distance itself from the associations created through this aesthetic hijacking by the working class, Burberry scaled back the check print from 20% to just 5% of its products, even completely discontinuing the Nova Check baseball cap that was ubiquitous in Chav culture.
Although this whole movement diluted Burberry’s image and devalued its products to a certain extent, it has paved the way for the British-born brand to explore new avenues, exemplified by the 2018 Burberry X Gosha Rubchinskiy collaboration – read more about it over on Highsnobiety.
Whether or not it was this phase that inspired Supreme to use the Nova Check on its box logo, its safe to say it was consistent with all that was going on.
The Burberry Nova check box logo was dropped in 1997, on white, grey, olive and navy T-shirts. A pre-2000’s box logo a lot of nuances behind it, truly makes it a high-sought after piece.
5. Supreme "Prada" Caps
Supreme has paid homage to the world-renowned Italian luxury houses on two occasions, first with the Red Chrome Stripe Nylon Cap. The aesthetics and design of one of Prada’s exponentially popular and successful lines, Prada Sport, was used for Supreme’s cap – released in Olive, White, Navy, Grey, Pink and Black.
The caps featured a protruding metallic red plastic panel on the front-centre, with a Supreme spellout, reminiscent of the Prada Sport Logo seen on the nylon jackets, tees, polos and bags.
Some would even argue that the Prada Sport line was revolutionary, paving the way for the now multi-billion dollar Athleisure industry. The use of Nylon in high fashion was what had people talking. It was also around the time where other designer brands such as Dior, Burberry and Issey Miyake releasing their own “Sport” lines. Alex Rakestraw covers “the pinnacle of luxury sportswear” in detail here.
The overall styling of the original Prada logo was also used by Supreme for its fitted caps, on two occasions – a new era snapback and the Harlem 5 panel. Both feature a logo reminiscent of Pradas, with the words “Prada Milano” replaced by “Supreme New York”.
7. Supreme "Fendi" Bomber
The Faux Fur Repeater Bomber is Supreme’s latest rendition of a designer piece. Yet another Italian fashion house is presumed to be the source of inspiration for this extravagant extroverted faux fur jacket.
The design as a whole bears a striking resemblance to the FW18 Fendi Monogrammed “Zucca” fur bomber jacket showcased on the runway in Milan. The Supreme spell out featured both upright and upside down is reminiscent of Fendi’s FF logo monogram.
This banger of a bomber jacket was released in a Dark Teal colourway, and a Brown “Fendi” colourway. It was actually Karl Lagerfeld (creative director of Fendi since 1965) and not the founder Adele Casagrande who conceptualised the now emblematic FF logo. It was an acronym for “Fun Fur”, as the logo was intended to be used on the silks and prints that line fur coats. But as we all know, it’s ubiquitous in Fendi’s collection.
Although in theory, Supreme adopting Fendi styling for their SS18 Faux Fur Repeater Bomber might have sounded like a tacky idea, we actually dig the execution and the way it turned out. We won’t speak for others though…let us know your thoughts!
There’s no doubt in our minds that we’ll be seeing more of Supreme’s homage-paying, motif-borrowing, pattern-adopting garments in the future.
If you’re into combining designer like Gucci, Prada and Burberry with streetwear like Supreme and BAPE, it might be worth checking out what we’ve got on offer here at Top Floor Gallery. Browse through all products or shop by brand, and invite high-end fashion to your pre-existing streetwear drip, and vice versa.
From Gucci waist bags to Supreme box logos, Prada jackets, BAPE T-Shirts, Bapestas + so much more, it’s all here at Top Floor Gallery – Authentic Designer and Streetwear.