High-stakes apparel deals continue even through a slump in retail. LVMH is going forward with its purchase of Tiffany & Co after some uncertainty. Recently, Alibaba and Richemont invested $300 million each in Farfetch, plus another $250 million to create a multinational luxury fashion conglomerate to develop Farfetch China. The latest apparel company purchased in a mega-deal is Supreme, the behemoth skateboarding company headquartered in New York: Today the brand revealed its $2.1 billion sales to VF Corporation, the company owned by Vans, The North Face, and Timberland, both regular Supreme partners, and Dickies.
In a quote, Supreme founder James Jebbia said, “We are proud to join VF, a world-class business that is home to great brands we have collaborated with for years, including The North Face, Buses, and Timberland.” “This collaboration will retain our distinctive culture and independence while enabling us to expand along the same path we have been on since 1994.”
The sales news rippled through the apparel industry, not only because of its price tag. Supreme has long been a gold standard for success: it earned the company a CFDA Award in 2018 and the envious eye of many of its rivals with its uncompromising approach towards aesthetics, products, and customers. Here, Vogue Runway breaks down what fashion can gain from the continued success of the Supreme.
Although the word “streetwear” is overused, our collective preference is not going anywhere for casual, trendy clothes. The focus of Supreme on unisex items such as tees, hoodies, outerwear, and accessories such as beanies, sneakers, caps, and skateboards means that customers of both genders and age ranges are widely drawn.
The work-from-home period ushered in by the pandemic of COVID-19 possibly only made Supreme more appealing to customers.
During the pandemic, the failing wholesale model was the topic of much talk, with a group of designers led by Dries Van Noten pressuring retailers to adjust their distribution calendars and sales practices. In the United States, with Neiman Marcus declaring bankruptcy and beloved boutiques such as Totokaelo and Jeffrey shuttering, multi-brand stores have also taken a hit. However, Supreme has maintained a steady flow of clients. Thanks to its coveted commodity, much of it is, but there’s also the fact that the only places to purchase official Supreme products are a bricks-and-mortar Supreme store and Supreme’s e-commerce platform.
Supreme incentivizes buyers to line up and wait for its weekly fall by controlling 100 percent of its distribution channels. It has also built a flourishing secondary market for its products on sites such as Grailed, StockX, and Goat, where Supreme and its products are marketed by sellers at no extra cost to the company.