The Odd Couple
The Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration that debuted back in January during Paris Men’s Fashion Week is now in stores. As of June 30th, the collection became available at pop-up locations in Sydney, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, London, Miami, and Los Angeles with more locations opening in the US (and one in Vancouver) on July 14th.
*EDIT: As of July 11, 2017, “this collection will no longer be sold in any stores or online.”
Being a huge fan of Louis Vuitton, I thought I would share my thoughts on probably one of the brand’s most talked about collaborations to date.
Louis Vuitton has a long-standing history of collaborating with artists. Some of the most memorable collections feature work done by Takashi Murakami, Stephen Sprouse, Richard Prince, and Yayoi Kusama. This time around the partnership is with one of the largest streetwear names in the game: Supreme.
A High Price to Pay
With prices anywhere between $290 USD to $68,000 USD, and the resale value even higher, you begin to wonder how worth it the capsule collection really is.
Buyers are in two categories; those who have saved up or have a lot of money. So, what about the Supreme fan that simply can’t afford the inflation? To them, Supreme has sold out.
When a luxury fashion house like Louis Vuitton teams up with anyone you can expect a hefty price tag. What about if the collaboration involves a skatewear company? The end result is no different. Status: Still expensive.
This is what makes the match questionable. The whole point of streetwear is to be accessible but in this case, it’s made largely unattainable. It never reaches those who have been Supreme fans since day one.
Call it a taunt, one that’s dressed up in red and white monogrammed leather. The ethos of Louis Vuitton seems to be out of sync with Supreme. No wonder people are feeling ripped off.
The Red, The White, and The New
In 2000, Supreme was hit with a cease and desist letter from Louis Vuitton for using their LV monogram print without permission. Skate decks, hats, and t-shirts were recalled after just two weeks. Consider this an attempt of parody under fair use of copyright infringement. Imitation as flattery or perhaps some larger statement about high fashion.
Seventeen years later, an alliance has been formed to riff on the ‘official fake’ trend. Perhaps this was in commemoration of their first meeting all those years ago. Instead, now there is this mutual feeling of admiration between Supreme and Kim Jones, men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton.
*Both brands have worked with Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and Takashi Murakami.
Were Supreme and Louis Vuitton really destined to stay enemies though? Or did streetwear finally catch up to high fashion? Because I’m starting to think that maybe their ethos is in sync after all…