Why Is Supreme So Expensive? The Key Things to Understand

Streetwear is a form of fashion that’s renowned for being relatively simple in terms of design. Oversized shirts, hoodies, and the incorporation of athletic brands are some of its core tenants.

But, the brand Supreme is notably expensive compared to how simple its designs are. If you’ve ever wondered the reason behind the cost, you’ve come to the right place.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to answer, ‘Why is Supreme so expensive?’

So… Why Is Supreme so Expensive?

The reason behind this isn’t due to some form of groundbreaking technology or utility that its clothes provide. So, many people may feel the brand’s cost is unjustifiably high.

Once you understand the brand’s key attributes, though, it will begin to make more sense. Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy attributes.

The Story

The backstory behind Supreme’s rise to fame is rather interesting.

The store was opened in the mid-90s by James Jebbia in New York City. At the time, it was more or less another skate shop surrounded by hundreds of others.

As the years went on, though, the brand slowly began to gain traction. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Supreme began to reach a new level of stardom after collaborating with Nike on the Nike Dunk Low Pro SB Supreme.

Since Supreme began as a shop for skate attire, having its name on Nike’s line of skateboarding shoes gave the brand the authenticity and respect it needed to reach unprecedented heights.

Supreme then began collaborating with other major brands, such as The North Face, Levi’s, Vans, and Champion. This allowed Supreme to greatly extend its reach, leaving many people surprised that the store had such humble beginnings. 

Limited-Edition Pieces

Interestingly, the retail prices of Supreme’s clothing are fairly reasonable. In general, you might find yourself paying $30+ for a simple T-shirt, and a bit more for a sweatshirt.

But, these prices grow astronomically once the supply has run out. Since Supreme is constantly changing what it keeps in stock, there ends up being a large handful of pieces that won’t ever be manufactured again.

The scarcity that this establishes immediately adds to the value. The $35 T-shirt has suddenly become a rare, limited-addition piece. Depending on how popular its design is, it’s not unlikely for the price to reach $500 to $1,000.

This also creates an atmosphere of exclusivity, as owning and wearing a discontinued Supreme piece is not something just anyone is able to do. 

The Culture

Those who are into Supreme are often open-minded enough to see past its sometimes-outlandish designs or simplicity. For example, a particular model of a Supreme hoodie is completely covered in the Louis Vuitton logo. That simplicity doesn’t stop it from going for a premium price.

If Nike were to release something like this on its own, there’s a good chance the brand’s core audience wouldn’t understand it. They’d immediately ask themselves, “Why? Is this a collaboration with a high-fashion brand?”

With Supreme, it’s different. The reaction becomes me along the line of, “Wow, I never expected Supreme and Louis Vuitton to work on something together.”

At the end of the day, Supreme is a fashion brand, and fashion often needs a bit of creativity to be understood. So, those who understand the brand’s culture are often willing to pay more for it than they normally would.

High-Quality Materials 

Regardless of what people have to say about a simple gray hoodie with Supreme’s box logo on the front, it can’t be denied that Supreme’s products are of significant quality.

For instance, its hoodies are often made from a silky, durable material that feels far ‘heavier’ than many other hoodies. There’s often an immediate distinction between the experience a Supreme hoodie provides over that of another brand.

Brands like The North Face or Nike, for example, wouldn’t collaborate with Supreme if the products they released weren’t up to industry standard

Celebrity Embracement

This is different than ‘celebrity endorsement.’ Not only are celebrities frequently seen wearing Supreme, but they tend to love the clothing brand as much as its typical buyers.

For example, celebrities like Drake, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, and Chris Brown have all been photographed numerous times with a Supreme piece (or two).

What’s interesting to note is that none of the above artists frequently mention (if they ever do at all) the brand Supreme or wearing its clothing. It’s common for hip-hop artists to talk about high-fashion brands, but Supreme isn’t discussed in the same way.

This can lead one to conclude that they aren’t sponsored or endorsed by the brand in any way and simply love the fashion it provides and the culture behind it.

Another notable example is A$AP Rocky, who has branded himself to be an individual who only wears fashionable clothing that matches his style. As you may expect, his tendency to wear Supreme says a lot about the respect he has for the brand.

Since people will always value celebrities and see them as role models, this has greatly helped establish Supreme’s credibility.

The Cost of Supreme Is Higher Than Most Similar Brands

In addition to the quality, it’s the message and culture that you’re paying for when you purchase Supreme. With the above information about “Why is Supreme so expensive?” you now have a better understanding of one of how the biggest streetwear brands on the market operate. It’s all about hype and exclusivity.

Want to learn more about Supreme? Feel free to check out our collection

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