When Louis Vuitton confirmed the long awaited rumours of the LV x Supreme collaboration back in 2017, by way of the A/W 17 runway show and pre-show interview with WWD, the world was sent into a spiral of mixed emotions.
It may have been quite a shock to see that one of the most luxurious fashion houses in the world teaming up with street style cult brand Supreme, considering their very protective nature of their intellectual property. However, that aside, it seemed to be a match made in heaven for the two brands.
Leading the reigns, Kim Jones – LV’s menswear director and the collaboration with New York based cult skatewear brand, Supreme and its founder James Jebbia. The two brands created a line up incorporating the bright red and white logo branding of Supreme with LV’s classic monogramming. From duffel bags to messenger bags, the collection created a twist to the Supreme phenomenon style and tapped into two different markets seamlessly.
Collaboration that worked
Why would LV want to collaborate in this masterful partnership? The Supreme cult following spans the highly coveted Millennials market – and it is this very market that most brands are eagerly trying to tap into and capture. Not only this, the Supreme fan is a dedicated and loyal customer, and one that is willing to spend on the Cult brand. On the flip side, Supreme has been able to tap into a luxury market that may have otherwise overlooked the street brand, but with the gravita of LV has been able to make Street luxury. Over all LV has achieved the ultimate street cred through this collaboration, whilst still maintaining ultimate control and management ( pieces were only soild exclusively through LV shops) and Supreme has engaged with a market of high spenders by gaining their own kind of cred in the industry… not forgetting the lovely pay package they would have received for the rights to utilise their branding. Everyone seems to be a winner.
The collaboration was, however, met with some bad vibes initially, with the The New Work Times quoting “Nothing is more lethal to cred than a sellout”. Pointing its finger at Supreme with them potentially losing the title of the King of the Streets by selling out to LV. Caution that may have been reflected in slight loses to both brands profit lines in 2017. Caution that is not reflected in the overall hype that the collaboration created.
In conclusion, Supreme have made it their business for the last 20 years to build clever collaborations, and has elevated their brand from established skate brand to the Cult brand of today. It is this eclectic mix of partnerships that is what makes the success story a reality. On the other hand, LV use their collaborations to keep their customers interested by merging art and commerce together to create a new beautiful product all the while maintaining the traditional brand.