When James Jebbia launched Supreme back in 1994, few could have predicted his dramatic rise in the world of fashion. Within the past twenty years, Supreme has risen from a tiny Manhattan skateboarding shop to a streetwear giant with eleven locations all over the world, so when it was announced that Supreme had won the 2018 CFDA Award for ‘Menswear Designer Of The Year‘, it will undoubtedly go down in the history books as one of the most important moments in fashion.
The son of an air force pilot and an English teacher, nothing destined James Jebbia to become a leading light of urban fashion. And yet, growing up amidst the punk culture that dominated 1970s England, he developed a passion for art and fashion, so when he launched Supreme, he knew exactly what he was doing. With limited editions, strong branding, and bold logos, Supreme retained a small clique of loyal followers for nearly two decades.
Dubbed by many as the “King of Collabs“, Supreme has worked with the likes of The North Face, Stone Island, COMME des GARÇONS, Undercover, Vans, Nike, and of course, Louis Vuitton for Fall/Winter 2017. The latter was an absolutely critical moment in the world of fashion, as it was a sign that streetwear had officially broken through to the establishment and is concrete proof of a new dawn within luxury fashion.
When the 2018 CFDA’s ‘Menswear Designer Of The Year’ nominees were first announced, the list included Jebbia as well as Off-White’s Virgil Abloh. Neither of these two gentlemen have ever claimed to be designers, and Abloh, although a trained architect, also has no formal education in fashion, yet, these two are amongst the most influential designers in fashion today, alongside Raf Simons, Thom Browne, and Tom Ford.
During the CFDA Fashion Awards ceremony earlier this month, Jebbia took to the stage, plainly expressing, “I’ve never considered Supreme to be a fashion company, or myself a designer, but I appreciate the recognition for what we do.”
As the great Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson once said, “Be humble, be hungry, and always be the hardest worker in the room.”
Congratulations, Mr Jebbia!