The art of mixing the low with the high –Louis Vuitton X Supreme
Louis Vuitton X Supreme, an official milestone in the history of fashion
As we all know, the latest fashion hype has been Louis Vuitton X Supreme’s collaboration as well as Vetement’s social media overflow and success with rejuvenating 18 different brands for SS17 only, going from Levis, Juicy Couture, Carhatt, Manolo Blahnik, Brioni, Dr. Martens, Eastpak, Champion, Canada Goose and more.
Because of the new millennial influencers and rise of social media creating instant access to information, immediacy and democratization for fashion is now key, long gone were the days when couture houses dictated the fashion trends creating the traditional “trickle down” effect, today it’ become a hybrid and digital ecosystem, where high comes to low and vice versa.
“It’s so complicated now, brands aren’t what they used to be. I remember back in the days, if we were not wearing what was in trend, it would really show, now people are free to wear what they want when they want. The traditional fashion retail model doesn’t even make sense anymore, in January we receive spring merchandise and in July were receiving winter merchandise. People also want the new trends for the runway now, they won’t wait 5-6 months, they’ll just get it for 80% off several weeks after the show at the fast fashion retailers instead. We’re now seeking in novelty , new consumers no longer abide to luxury brands and their hierarchal rules , things are changing, and fast.” says a founder of one of the largest lifestyle communication agencies based in Milan.
When interviewing A$AP Rocky in West Hollywood this March during the launch of his second capsule collection with the American label, GUESS; Guess Club, he also gives his opinion on the latest fashion movement where high end merges with streetwear;
“wassap lil lady” he smiles at me, “ You mean the trend with Louis Vuitton X Supreme etcetera right…I think that’s really what A$AP stands for, to marry both worlds, you know it’s like bridging a gap, wearing high end with streetwear, granted it took more than six years to catch up ( and commercialize) to that concept, but you know I’m glad things are finally being done now and it’s the way things should be, everything’s gotta be diverse, versatility makes the world go round.”
Being both a fashion and rap icon, being the face of Dior and Calvin Klein’s global campaigns, as well as recently creating capsule collections with JW Anderson under JWA AWGE, and now creating his second collaboration with GUESS, we can say that this social media phenomenon /MC is playing his fair share towards revamping fashions traditional rules.
He further expresses his personal reason for these types of collaborations, the diplomacy of fashion “Having a platform, I wanna show that it don’t matter if you gotta name or not, you A$AP Mob or not, it doesn’t matter! Fashion is free, it’s about expression, for us its more than just a lifestyle it’s like culture, I mean it’s a no brainer, I think more people are adapting and relating to that now. That’s the message, I’m glad people are finally catching on to this dope sh*t, cause you know there’s a lot of corny sh*t going on.”
Although there’s recently a lot of hype going on about these new crossover collaborations, whether it being to revamp old brands into novelty like Vetements ( a pioneer in the streetstyle and luxury movement), or influencer cross overs in order to revamp a brand ( or get a new type of share in the market) such as Guess X A$AP, Riri X Puma, Ricardo Tisci X Nike Air Max97 etc. no brand ever has ever went on the level of Supreme X Louis Vuitton; mixing the god father of streetstyle brands, Supreme, with one of fashions largest corporate luxury conglomerate, Louis Vuitton. These are all signs of the current evolution of fashion and the drastic changes we’ve seen, especially in the past decade due to social media.
Just a few years ago, NYC-born skate brand built on simple hoodies and t-shirts would have seemed the furthest thing from luxury where LV would never have touched the brand even with a ten-foot pole. Louis Vuitton even sued the brand in the early 2000’s for unauthorized use of its monogram on their skateboard deck, a potential statement back then of the underground street brand mocking and demonizing the concept of high end ‘unattainable’ fashion. Yet, all over the Louis Vuitton PFW runway show were clothes /accessories stamped with Supreme’s logo combined with the same LV mark that once got Supreme into trouble. A reverse in roles and a modern twist on turning tables is the result, what was once looked down upon is now perceived as the epitome of luxury creating an official statement and milestone in fashion history between the coexistence of streetwear and luxury. It really give us this type of “ everything is possible” inspirational effect.
NY Mag couldn’t have said it any better “A good logo, when well applied, will take you pretty far.”
“you’ll rarely see the brand (Supreme) in fashion shoots because there’s no point — the clothes sell out immediately. With weekly drops coming out in limited quantities, an avid shopper would have to set up a bot for Thursday’s at 11 to have any chance of buying anything.”-NY Mag, The CUT, I saw this myself during my time in LA, passing in front of one of Supreme’s 10 stores in the world; a massive line-up of fans taking up over 3 blocks (and big body guards to protect the store from overflow) at 11:30am waiting impatiently to get the chance of buying the new Supreme items.
Although, the collaboration of these two brands has left a strong positive note for media and the fashion industry, catching their surprise and undivided attention, something that is almost impossible in today’s fashion media world of being always “overseen/overdone”, in contrast, many of Supreme’s original fan base of skater kids feel “exploited” and even “betrayed” by the new collaboration. “I think it’s stupid as sh*t,” an anonymous skater said of the collection. “It solidifies Supreme’s place in fashion, which is so stupid. They started the brand as a f–k you to fashion, and now they’ve become it.” said several skater kids on NYC’s Lower East Side skate park to WWD. “They represent the worst form of street culture, when you go into the store, it’s full of a–holes, they vibe you out.” another thirty something skater said of Supreme.
Nevertheless, many industry insiders as well as global streetwear influencers are enjoying the concept and historical irony between the two brands, calling it “genius”, “brilliant”, a “commercial success” and stating it as a reference point in fashion history on working together as a team to satisfy a very diverse (at the same time very similar) group of customers from a retail perspective.
Cruz Beckham wearing LV x Supreme Collection -Instagram