Arguably the leading brand in street and skate wear (recently becoming the first to garner a billion dollar valuation) Supreme has pushed the category forward not only through fashion and branding but with their occasional political outspokenness as well. One glaring blind spot among their accomplishments and innovation is their archaic representation of women. Further in this post you will find images I’ve collected from Supreme’s past look books and Instagram account that illustrate their sexist and derogatory depiction of women. Before continuing on I’d like to note two things: one, I am aware Supreme is a menswear brand and two, I am a big fan of Supreme. As a fan, I’ve always had a yearning to see Supremes expertly styled look books (below are images from their SS18 collection) include women as I believe it would translate so well to a female model. Keep everything the same, just put a few of the looks on a woman. Recently there have been more unisex brands been popping up which is great but it would also be so cool to see existing brands with such wide reach and influence be more inclusive. This doesn’t mean creating items for women like brands like Nike regularly do, I don’t want to have to wear the ‘women’s version’ (usually the same style but in pink or purple) of a sneaker I love and that applies to clothing as well. The images above are from the Supreme x Araki look book. I was really excited when I received the email from Supreme announcing this collaboration with Araki as part of their Fall/Winter ’16 collection but upon clicking into that email to see the look book was hugely disappointed. They finally shoot their clothing on a woman and it’s a highly fetishized shoot. Supreme pushes the boundaries in so many ways (shirts, pins, stickers etc speaking out again racism, materialism and our current fascist administration) yet regress to the lowest common denominator when featuring women. The fact that they’ve chosen to draw attention to the issues I just mentioned is part of what sparked me to write this.I almost do not even have words for the above images. It’s amazing to me that they are even on the brand’s Instagram (except for the middle one on the bed which is from an old campaign or advertisement). How can such a creative, collaborative, directional brand be so tacky, tasteless and out-dated when it comes to women? It takes combing their Instagram and going back to 2013 to find just a few (literally) photos of women featured the same way they show men and even then, many of the are not produced by Supreme (the outer photos below are from SSense). The images above which show women styled like the men and not over sexualized are still being featured kind of as accessories to the men. Supreme has taken steps to include the cultures that support it but not the genders. Being first and foremost a skate brand they could at least feature more women skateboarders. However it is pretty undeniable at this point they’ve crossed over into being a fashion brand.So in conclusion, if Supreme does not want to include women in their lookbooks or increase their visibility in their content it would be amazing to at least see them take the step to not depict them in the worst possible way when they do.
As a little bonus end to this post with a small collection of street style photos showing women (including one of me 😉 )wearing Supreme. This is just a tiny sample there’s tons more out there!TOP PHOTO Gina Marie Barbaro
All other images via Supreme.com and @supremenewyork on Instagram
Street style images are via google and are not mine (except the one of me)