honeyee: Supreme London – Interview with James Jebbia
The vastly influential Japanese online publication and magazine, honeyee has just released an interview with Supreme founder James Jebbia in a followup to the new London store that opened last month. In the article, Jebbia talks about decisions behind the opening of the Supreme London store, as well as details on the location, the Mark Gonzales artwork of the shop, and London-based brands he’d like to see Supreme work with in the future. Jebbia also reveals to honeyee some of his thoughts on the evolution of streetwear since his own start, the internet’s effect on maintaining core values, and the comparison of New York and London street culture. Being such a storied and respected figure in the fashion world, it’s always great to get a glimpse into the mind of James Jebbia. The Supreme London store is now open at the address below.
2/3 Peter St.
London W1F 0AA
Could you tell us why you decided to open the Supreme London Store?
London’s a real vibrant, youthful city & we have many friends & loyal costumers there, it feels very natural to be there.
Please tell us why you chose SoHo to open the store among other areas in London?
Have always loved that area, especially where we are amongst all the sex shops & fruit market on Brewer Streets, it’s classic London. Besides most young brands these days have been opening shops in the East End of London, we didn’t want to do that.
Please tell us about the London store. Are there any details you paid particularly close attention?
We pay close attention to everything, when we do store, we look at it long term, it needs to stand the rest of time. A good store to me needs to be original & have it’s own unique aesthetic & personality & be able to convey the brand & products in the most honest way regardless if it’s Comme Des Garcons, Apple or someone selling stuff from a table on the street.
When you asked Mark Gonzalez to work on the artwork for the store, did you have a specific theme or idea in mind that you would like him to incorporate with?
We thought his iconic birds, what he calls a Shmoo would look great in the space so we asked him to design two unique ones for us & then asked him to do a mural or two inside the store. He showed us a bunch of sketches & I simply liked the mother & child sketch he did, makes me think of my wife & kids which makes me happy.
Please tell us differences and similarities between street culture in New York and London?
Culturally they are probably the most influential cities but I feel that things are a little bit more effortless & looser in London, as soon as you get off the plane you notice the average young person just seems to have his own thing going on, in England you will see a 9-year skinhead or punk etc., you won’t really see that in NY. Music has obviously played a huge role culturally & that never seems to stop, it’s pretty much ingrained. People in England are open to new things whereas in New York people tend London but people in England seems to be a bit happier with less.
Supreme continues to play a lead role for the street scene on an international level by embodying the street culture by means of fashion. Do you think there was a shift in relations between street culture and fashion compared to the time when you started the brand?
Perhaps, think that’s most likely to do with the Internet though, which wasn’t around when we first started. Now people can view & get influenced by things without experiencing them.
As you said, use of the Internet is spread widely all over the world now. For Supreme, what do you think the most important thing is in order to maintain and convey a set of core values of brand?
First & foremost we have to very strong products, without that you have nothing. Whatever we do we try & do it at a high level, whether that’s a fit of a jacket, a photo shoot, a new store or an announcement on our website. You then need to maintain the consistency & quality at this level at all times all the while pushing ahead & surprising people so you don’t become boring & predictable.
Supreme has released epoch-making collaborative products every season to date. Following the opening the London store, is there any brand associated with London you would like to work in the future?
Vivienne Westwood could be cool.