This originally appeared in Show notes, GQ employee Samuel Hine’s newsletter about fashion week. For more stories like that, click on the link and subscribe.
Last Thursday night, the only hotspot in Paris was a gentlemen’s club off the Champs Elysee. Supreme was in town and holding one of its biggest parties since the beginning of the pandemic. Inside, David Blaine briefly pulled out the ears of the astonished skaters while strippers wearing T-shirts with cut-out box with logo swirled nearby. It was filled with Supreme team members from Paris, London and New York, club kids, rappers, fashion insiders and artists like Kunle Martins. In other words, it was a classic Supreme bash, thrown to the global downtown. But there was something else in the air as well. First, there was a bunch of Thom Browne employees, dressed up in their usual short suits, waiting for drinks at the bar. Audiences standing in line outside were dressed in designer clothes. For the first time in the brand’s history, Supreme was officially landed at Fashion Week.
Why now? I asked Supreme’s new creative director, Tremaine Emory, to lead me in. When Emory joined the Supreme in February, it was the first major appointment to be announced since VP Corp bought the $ 2.1 billion brand in 2020, and a sign that there may be a shift in progress when skating. the brand is ending its third decade. Emory is the founder of Denim Tears, a clothing brand that is also his mouthpiece for racial justice and cultural activism. Like his friend and collaborator Virgil Abloh was, Emory is not bound by the rules of the fashion industry; It’s his project, as he sees it, too important for that. When he announced one Converse collaboration in 2020, he demanded that Converse parent company Nike commit to promoting real social change before approving the sneaker. Supreme has a rich history of political activism, but also embodies a sense of fuck-the-world cool guy apathy. Emory’s appointment serves as a commitment to deepen the brand’s commitment to political and cultural issues, on a level beyond “Fuck the President” t-shirts.
The first pieces Emory designed for the brand will be released this fall, and his first full collection will come next spring. But his influence is already being felt. Emory arrived at the party around noon. 23:00, and everywhere he went, a crowd followed. Although he may have been hired outside the company, the Supreme children already ate out of his hand. Emory explained that the party was going on before his first day. But both features – the party and Emory’s new concert – feel closely linked: together they serve as a recognition that Supreme is as key a player in the broader fashion system as any luxury brand on the official fashion week level. “It all comes together now,” Emory explained. Do not expect a Supreme return to the runways; they have been there and done it thanks to Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton. But under Emory, it is safe to say that Supreme will embrace the fashion world even more – and celebrate how much it has changed the industry. “Every fashion brand is trying to do what Preme has been doing for 30 years,” Emory said. “Why not show up for the Super Bowl when we helped write the playbook that a lot of people use?”
Emory was not only in town for the Supreme party. He also took showroom appointments to Denim Tears Spring 23, saw pieces from his new Levi’s collaboration and attended runway shows by his friends and collaborators. (Although he missed Louis Vuitton show for sure would not let him and Acyde in – perhaps a better sign than anything else that the revolution Abloh started is nowhere near complete.) He and Acyde also had the DJ GQ’s semi-annual Paris party on Friday night at L’Avenuea tradition started in June 2018 with Acyde and Abloh.