Bravado_Fashion_Magazine_Canada_Supreme_Paris_3Supreme founder and U.K. native James Jebbia rarely talks to the press but when he does people take notice. He recently granted an interview with Business of Fashion on the eve of the Supreme Paris store opening, slated to open later this week. In the interview, he talks about keeping the brands New York roots while expanding overseas, stating, “If they think opening our shop in Paris is going to harm our brand, then we can’t really be that strong of a brand.”

The skateboard/streetwear has built itself upon doing things their own way.  If you think we are saying that in a fashion journalistic bullshit kind of way then you haven’t visited one of their stores. Just look at Supreme’s customer service policy as an example. Imagine you are a 12 year old boy who ends up waiting in line (for hours) with his mother for their new drop and somehow manage to make it into the store before it sells out. What will take place next has rarely even been considered by another brand. This includes having store workers come and snatch clothes out of your hands and tell you that you can’t buy certain items and or limiting the number of items you are “allowed” to buy, meanwhile your mum has her mouth wide open in shock and disbelief at the rudeness to which the terms are being dictated. All of this falls in line with Mr. Jebbia’s dream for the future his empire when he states, “I want to do something where a young kid shopping with his parents might be like, ‘Mum, maybe you shouldn’t come in this store with me.’”

Below are some interesting tid bits from the BoF interview which can be read here.

In regards to global expansion:

“Yeah, we’re a New York brand, but we’re a world brand now, too. It’s no different than Levi’s being from San Francisco. People might think there are a lot of brands in the world like ours, but there aren’t.”

How Supreme has continued to thrive and grow?

“instinct backed up with some real understanding of what we do.”

On the opening of a store in Paris.

“I look at opening a shop in Paris as a ballsy move because we really believe we have an audience there, even though there are a lot of great shops there like APC, Colette and Chanel.”

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After visiting Paris a few years ago with his wife James saw a part of the city that he wasn’t aware existed. Place de la République, a sprawling eight-acre plaza peppered with ornate fountains and bronze statues, have transformed parts of Paris into vast playgrounds for a melting pot of skaters.

“You couldn’t have that in New York. It’s like having a great plaza where kids can skate all day on St. Marks or something. You might think there is more freedom in New York, San Francisco or London, but a kid can’t skate in those places without getting arrested.”

Running a business for returns.

“As a small brand, we do it all. We don’t need an investor. We would never go anywhere or do anything where we feel it would compromise what we do.”

In regards to the fashion industry starting to incorporate street style elements to their collections, example Vetements.

“It’s a good thing, because before we were one of the only brands doing that kind of thing. Now it’s just more open and that’s great,” he said. “I think it’s cool because they’re making things people really want to wear. And that’s what we do: we make things people want to wear — not in fantasy land.”

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