March 28, 2018
By Noelani Piters
HOW TO SPOT REAL SUPREME PIECESSHOP SUPREME
Supreme has been the apple of the streetwear world’s eye for some time, and with the recent adoption of hoodies, sneakers and caps in the high fashion realm, the brand has become more hyped than ever. Teaming up with everyone from Louis Vuitton to The North Face, Supreme produces pieces so coveted they’ve caused near riots. The brand’s been around since 1994, and was initially founded by James Jebbia as a skate shop. Jebbia, who wanted to commemorate the store opening with some branded merchandise, enlisted a friend to help design three original graphic T-shirts. The store’s box logo was one of them. And thus, an icon was born.
Now, Supreme is one of the most sought-after labels on the market, with products selling in record-breaking times and long lines of resellers camping out to flip their purchases on the internet. Limited runs of new designs, high-profile collaborations and riffs on the classic box logo – inspired by the art of Barbara Krueger – keep Supreme items constantly in demand. And, as it turns out, constantly counterfeited.
Resale sites claim to have authentic Supreme gear for sale left and right, so it takes a discerning eye to sort through all the fakes. Luckily, Authentication Manager Nhu Duong has seen her fair share of inauthentic pieces and has some advice to help sleuth out those Supreme impersonators (plus some bonus tips on spotting must-cop Louis Vuitton x Supreme pieces!). Read on to start authenticating Supreme like a pro.
Supreme Box Logo Hoodies
When it comes to authenticating Supreme hoodies, there’s no better place to start than the box logo itself. “Supreme” should be centered and placed symmetrically within the box; on fakes, an embroidered logo may be entirely off-center.
Next, take a look at the logo’s font. “The Supreme font on a box logo will be slightly italicized, with the letters very close to each other,” says Duong. “On counterfeits, the letters will often be touching or the opposite – spaced too far apart.” Authenticity is in the details, and the logo has very distinct features that are missed on counterfeits. “The notch in the ‘r’ and the slight slant in the ‘e’ are particularly important to look out for, as these are markers of an authentic logo,” notes Duong.
The Supreme brand tag may vary in color, but the reverse side will notably feature the size and country of origin. “Authentic Supreme garments are manufactured primarily in the United States and Canada,” notes Duong.
Also pay close attention to the fabrics and hardware used for garments, such as a terry cloth logo embellishment or the metal grommets used for the drawstring. “Counterfeits often use inferior materials as a cheaper alternative to produce more units at a lower cost,” explains Duong. “Supreme hoodies are extremely desirable, not only for the iconic design but also for their comfort and quality. Authentic hoodies will feature a weightier drawstring with a metal stopper. Counterfeits often include a cheap metal grommet and incorrect drawstring textile with plastic coated ends.”
Supreme Box Logo Camp Caps
For collectors, skaters and hype luxe lovers, the camp cap is a wardrobe staple. “On Supreme hats, it’s imperative to inspect each detail of the logo for correct fonts, just like with the hoodie,” says Duong. “The ‘S’ in Supreme has a unique curve, and the top half of the S features a longer slope than the lower half.”
The country of origin tag, located at the hat’s interior, is a square shape with clean fonts, the correct logo lettering and a clean stitch line. “Counterfeits will often imitate the American flag graphic and wording,” says Duong. “But note that on authentic caps, the tag may be poorly affixed.” Though streetwear brands like Supreme are highly collectible, the construction techniques won’t match the same standards of your typical luxury brands, or even those of the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration.
Consistent stitching on the hat’s exterior is a key identifier of authenticity when inspecting all Supreme camp caps, however. “Each hat silhouette will vary in stitch count as well as design,” elaborates Duong. “But if there are ever any signs of crooked, sloppy or erratic stitching, it’s a sure sign that the item is not real.”
Louis Vuitton x Supreme Sneakers
The ever-elusive Louis Vuitton x Supreme collection may not have received a normal in-store release – it was rumored to be cancelled, was for sale in a number of pop-up shops worldwide and then available exclusively to VIP clients – but the hyped collaboration’s instantly recognizable designs still have major counterfeit potential. “When authenticating Louis Vuitton x Supreme items, it’s much like authenticating a normal Louis Vuitton piece,” says Duong. “We look for all of the heritage house’s signature trademarks.” This includes expert stitching, high-grade materials and the date code, a Louis Vuitton brand identifier commonly found on handbags and shoes.