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Why the Sale of Supreme to VF Corporation has Fans Claiming the Brand is “Dead”

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The biggest name in the streetwear industry was just acquired by the conglomerate, VF Corporation, for $2.1 billion.

For over two decades, Supreme has been the biggest name in the streetwear industry. Low supply and high demand are the foundation of their marketing plan that keeps their prices high and leaves their fans always wanting more. Every Supreme fan knows the feeling of going to the website on drop day and finding a sold out sticker on every item. So, if you want to get your hands on some Supreme gear, your best bet is spending your entire paycheck to purchase off of a third-party reseller. 

This low supply and high demand model is what has kept Supreme one of the most sought after brands. Now with their recent sale to VF Corporation, fans have been wondering if the Supreme they know and love can survive.

What is VF Corporation and why are they important?

VF Corporation is an equity firm that currently owns many well-known brands, The North Face, Timberland, Vans, and Dickies. They just recently purchased a 100 percent stake in Supreme for a staggering $2.1 billion. This is not the first deal that Supreme founder, James Jebbia, has made with a major corporation as VF Corporation’s acquisition was their second in the last three years. The Carlyle Group procured a 50 percent stake in the company for $500 million back in 2017. This apparent change in leadership has fans wondering what other changes are going to be made and according to VF Corp., it’s not very much. 

The chairman, president, and CEO of VF Corporation, Steve Randle, made a statement to Womens Wear Daily saying, “This brand will continue to operate as it always has; we do not look to come in and make any changes. We’re here to help, support, and enable.”

One of Supreme’s designers, Augie Galan, also made a statement backing up VF Corp’s claims, “The thing about VF Corp. is they allow their companies to operate independently, and that’s their business model. They acquire these companies, but they still allow them to have their own culture and their sense of identity. I think they just provide really good support, financial backing, and infrastructure.”

Supreme’s founder, James Jebbia, along with the rest of the current staff will continue to lead the brand in their current roles. Although it seems like the iconic brand isn’t changing much, fans of the brand have been expressing their concerns all over social media claiming that “Supreme is dead”

So, what will change?

Many of Supreme’s collaborations have been with the brands currently under the VF Corp. umbrella, Supreme also recently released a collab with Timberland and The North Face, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to collaborations with them. VF Corp. leadership has assured fans that their acquisition will not limit them in any way as they encourage collaboration with any brand they want.

When it comes to VF Corp.’s goals for the company, it’s all about growth. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to exponentially raise the quantities and start selling them in retail stores or outlet malls, it’s mainly about expanding the brand by opening it up to an international market. There is a possibility of an increase in supply but not enough where Supreme’s exclusive appeal is in jeopardy. It’s mainly making up for the increase in demand they’re most likely going to receive after expanding their fanbase overseas. Currently, Supreme makes most of their money from the United States.

The online market that most Supreme fanatics are used to is probably not going anywhere either. Digital sales make up 60 percent of Supreme’s revenue, so VF Corp. isn’t likely to shy away from it. VF Corp.’s leadership recently released a corroborating statement saying, “Supreme aligns well with core pillars of VF’s strategy; digitally-led, retail-centric business model; large international growth opportunity.”

With all of this being said, we shouldn’t expect too much change from this iconic streetwear brand. If anything, we should look out for a wider variety of collaborations and an expansion of their already successful direct-to-consumer market.

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