Louis Vuitton x Supreme | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Louis Vuitton x Supreme

Life&Style writer Ed Coy questions whether the recent Louis Vuitton and Supreme collaboration is worth the hype

In the worst kept secret in fashion history, Louis Vuitton debuted a collaboration with cult New York label Supreme in Paris last week. Teased on Instagram by Travis Scott and A$AP Bari, the collection featured a wide range of accessories from sunglasses to holdalls, as well as a select few items of clothing and trainers.

The collaboration is the latest of many that Supreme has been part of in recent years. Aside from working with other traditional streetwear brands like Vans, Comme des Garçons and Air Jordan, they have also joined forces with Italian label Stone Island amongst others. However, none of the previous collaborations have been either as high profile, or crossed such seemingly-stratospheric boundaries.

Louis Vuitton has a rich history as one of the world’s finest fashion houses. It seems odd, therefore, that they would have the need or desire to work with a youth-focussed skate brand that was only founded in the 1990s. Particularly when you factor in the cease and desist letter sent to Supreme from Louis Vuitton in 2000, resulting from a collection of LV-inspired logos. Despite this, the collaboration arguably makes perfect sense for both labels.

The relative youth of Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Kim Jones, means that he has grown up alongside the rise of streetwear and seen Supreme grow from an independent skate shop in NYC to a bona fide global brand. A good friend of David Beckham, Jones is a known admirer of streetwear and his first job he took while studying at Central Saint Martins was for a company who imported Supreme to the UK.

Perhaps the most important factor in the coming together of the two brands is that Louis Vuitton wanted to take advantage of the current trend of high fashion meets streetwear. In recent times, fashion houses and designers have been taking their cues from streetwear, in particular the skate scene. Labels like Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy have blurred the lines somewhat between high fashion and streetwear, and the front row at a Fashion Week show is just as likely to feature hoodies and trainers as it is brogues and a tie.

This collaboration is an illustration of the importance of appealing to youth and the more casual scene. Supreme has an unprecedented cult following, with its customers regularly queueing up outside the stores for the latest drop. On occasion, the company appears to see what they can get away with – fire extinguishers and even house bricks bearing the box logo have sold out immediately.

The collection could be seen as a desperate attempt from both sides to remain relevant
The excitement of revealing such a ground-breaking collaboration between high fashion and streetwear at a catwalk show was dulled considerably by the fact that the collection was rather predictable. Everyone knew it was going to happen, and the collection was anticlimactic. Two companies known around the world by their logos inevitably came up with pretty standard pieces covered in the LV monogram and Supreme’s red box logo.

Taking a cynical view, the collection could be seen as a desperate attempt from both sides to remain relevant. Supreme has upset a lot of its target audience, arguably through no fault of its own, who believe the brand should have stayed true to skate culture. Instead, it has been appropriated by the fashion community, who want to appear youthful and connected to different cultures. For Louis Vuitton, the biggest luxury company in the world, recent menswear shows have been unfulfilling and the brand relies heavily on its core sales of leather goods. Both companies could be said to be selling out.

It remains to be seen whether all the fawning over the collection in the press will lead to actual sales. It is a risk, considering the pieces are based mainly around the Supreme logo but will be priced at Louis Vuitton level. The designs rule out a lot of Louis Vuitton’s traditional clientele, while the prices could leave Supreme customers frustrated.



4th February 2017 at 5:39 pm

Images from

Luxury Daily