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Last Updated on November 20, 2021
Supreme is the streetwear heavyweight we all pine after. We have seen it on Gigi and Kendall, we have drooled over their new collections and we have cowered in fear of their resell prices! It is one of the world’s most desired and sought-after brands, and although it used to be hard to cop their products, they are widely available now… If you manage to catch them before they sell out!
Nowadays, Supreme’s fanbase is huge, so copping stuff online can be hard. Lines in physical stores usually stretch for miles on drop-out dates, valued items like the Bogo hoodie sell out in seconds, and resellers usually sell items at 3x their original price. So, what can you do?
Well, there are a ton of similar brands that you can take advantage of. Read on to find out which is the right fit for you!
What are the top qualities that make Supreme such a hit?
Main qualities of the brand:
- Scarcity and exclusivity
- Short-runs of products
- Accessible, standard prices
- Rejects convention
- Outstanding quality
- Consistent and identifiable style
- Street-wise inspirations and references
- Political undertones
- Creative collabs with diverse artists
- Subversive motifs
- Tongue-in-cheek humor and profanity
Top items that everyone wants:
- Supreme x Playboy Jacket, 2011
- Supreme x Comme Des Garcons SHIRT Polka Dot Hoodie, 2012
- Sopranos BOX LOGO T-Shirt
Basic Information: Vetements, meaning “clothes” in French, was founded in 2014 as a luxury fashion brand and design collective. Demna, a Georgian fashion designer, and Guram Gvasalia were behind it, together with a collective of friends with previous design experience at some major European brands like Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, and more.
Price Range: $$$
Origin and Concept: The brand is all about employing a down-to-earth approach to create wearable items that appealed to a youthful audience.
My Recommended Product: Vega Logo Hoodie. There is something very whimsical about wearing a hoodie from such an esteemed brand with vegetables!
Celebrities who are fans: Kylie Jenner, Lorde, Kanye West, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner and more have been spotted wearing the brand.
Basic Information: Stussy is an American brand from California, founded in the early 1980s by Shawn Stussy. It rose up around the skate and surf trends of the Californian scene but has since integrated skateboarding and hip-hop. It is most famous for being the original streetwear brand, way before Supreme and Ape were even in the market. As a true streetwear brand, their graphic t-shirts and jackets have been their most desired item since its very conception.
Price Range: $$
Origin and Concept: In Tremaine Emory’s (creative art director of Stussy) own words hide the soulful message behind the brand: “You don’t need any more clothing. You don’t need any more stuff, man. If we’re going to make stuff, it’s going to be a fun story or important story and it’s going to mean something.”
My Recommended Product: Men’s Stock Lock Snapback Hat. Keep it on-brand with this classic cap with the famous Stussy signature and logo!
Celebrities who are fans: The original Stussy tribe included DJ Alex Baby, Gimme 5 founder Michael Kopelman, The Clash’s Mick Jones, and Big Audio Dynamite founder Don Letts.
Ethical Practices: Despite not having an ethical code on their website, Stussy’s very message seems to align itself with avoiding unnecessary fashion waste and compulsory buying of clothing. That being said, it would be nice to see a little more action on their part.
Basic Information: Off-white is a Milan-based brand founded in 2012 by American designer Virgil Abloh. It sells extremely expensive streetwear that is beloved by teenagers, rich club kids, pop stars, and rappers alike. The brand has garnered a reputation around making ironic clothing with quotes, like the memorable black dress with the words “Little Black Dress” written on it. The brand is considered high-fashion, but its most famous items are the pricey, tongue-in-cheek phone cases, $1000 sweatshirts, and viral sneakers from varied collaborations.
Price Range: $$$$
Origin and Concept: Abloh founded his brand by centering its design aesthetic on diagonal lines and the iconography of American cities, together with current culture and his cultural background as a black man. The brand really soared into popularity with Nike’s partnership to redesign 10 of the company’s best-selling and classic styles. It has remained one of the most highly sought-after fashion brands benefitting from large trends like the return of logos, and the hip hop aesthetic.
My Recommended Product: Keeping in mind that the prices are outrageous, I went window shopping anyways and I got to say I loved the Tomek pants. They are super stylish! Guess I should better start writing to Santa…
Celebrities who are fans: Rihanna, Julia Roberts, Marc Jacobs, Jay-z, Gigi Hadid, Beyonce, and other stars and music industry celebs, mainly in the rap genre.
Ethical Practices: Absolutely no published environmental policies, moral or ethical code. The brand has collaborated equally with contradicting and polarizing partners, like Planned Parenthood and artist Jenny Holtzer in a pro-immigration line. It would seem that their main interest is capitalizing on any sort of venture, so it stands to reason that they are not very invested in keeping things green, animal friendly, or producing their garments in good labor conditions. Not good enough.
4. Heron Preston
Basic Information: Heron Preston is an American artist and creative who launched his namesake brand in 2017 at Paris Fashion Week. The brand creates pieces that are meant to last, sourcing eco-friendly materials and crafted in Italy by highly skilled artisans.
Price Range: $$$$
Origin and Concept: The brand focuses on relaxed and creative pieces inspired by many sources, striving to provide out-of-the-box thinkers with high-quality and multipurpose clothing that they can wear every day. It is usually recognized by its use of Стиль, meaning “style” in Russian, the iconic orange batch and the heron bird.
My Recommended Product: Although it is not really my style, I could totally rock the Pocket’s vest. It is easy to match and would look amazing on either a man or a woman.
Celebrities who are fans: Kanye and other rappers and hip hop personalities have been seen wearing this brand, as well as off-duty models like Gigi and Bella Hadid.
Ethical Practices: The brand has collaborated with DSNY to create a zero-waste clothing collection, proving that they care about sustainability. Despite not being 100% sustainable, it is making an active effort to produce clothing that has the least possible impact on the environment and increases eco-consciousness at the same time.
Basic Information: Undercover is a Japanese brand, founded by Jun Takahashi in 1993. It is heavily influenced by street culture, punk, and by Takahashi’s roots in Japan. Its style is eclectic and draws heavily on popular culture, like the A/W 21 collection with puffer jackets that resemble Evangelion mechas and knit dresses that resemble the pilot’s armored suits.
Price Range: $$$
Origin and Concept: Heavily influenced by Nigo of Bape, Takahashi’s punk genius recasts familiar clothing staples as different and unique fashion items. Case in point, a shrunken B-3 flight jacket appeared cinching a grungy long skirt in the brand’s first runway show. Since then, the brand has explored tailoring, femininity, and dressmaking. Deconstructing one concept at a time and putting it together as something enchanting, innocent, chaotic, and new.
My Recommended Product: Hooded padded bomber jacket. I didn’t much like the women’s clothes from this brand. However, I absolutely loved various men staples like the bombers or hoodies!
Celebrities who are fans: Kylie Irving, G-Eazy, and Pharell Williams have been spotted wearing Undercover at games and other public events.
6. Bape – Bathing Ape
Basic Information: Bathing Ape, also known as Bape, is a Japanese brand founded by Nigo. Its roots go back to the “Urahara” Harajuku scene of the early 90s. It embodies a mixture of imported American street key aesthetics and sportswear designs. The scarcity of production at the beginning, made the brand be exclusive by necessity which ended up generating more hype due to the exclusivity of the designs.
Price Range: $$$$
Origin and Concept: The brand’s logo was inspired by his love of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes and the Japanese idiom “A bathing ape in lukewarm water”. This phrase is often used to describe a person that overindulges, so it was used to reference the hyper consumptive youth that would become the target audience of the brand.
My Recommended Product: Bape Sta Low-top sneakers are a 90s dream come true. There are a lot of counterfeit products floating about, so if you want to invest in this brand, my advice is to go to the source!
Celebrities who are fans: Pharell Williams, Jacob the Jeweller, Kanye West, Soulja Boy’s, and more.
7. CAV EMPT
Basic Information: Cav Empt was launched by Toby Feltwell and Hishiyama Yutaka right after the 2011 earthquake hit the Iwate Province in Japan. The brand is also known as the Renegade of Streetwear and is famous for its use of past imagery to bring the present and future to focus in a provocative way.
Price Range: $$$
Origin and Concept: Their dissatisfaction with the state of the reality they were living in and their desire to find an alternative were key elements of what would later become the DNA of the brand. The name, taken from caveat emptor, a Latin legal term that means “buyer beware” works as a sort of cheeky warning label, urging consumers to reflect concepts as big as our society, technology commodification, or capitalism. The brand’s rich visual language combines with a futuristic approach to streetwear that manages to nod to dense theoretical text, cultural critique, and classic sci-fi novels. They often use dated technology elements as well as corporate symbols and cinematic references.
My Recommended Product: Incident Crew Neck Pullover. I find the fact that they are staring at a printer mesmerizing.
Celebrities who are fans: Chris Brown.
Ethical Practices: Its high focus on fighting consumerism and promoting a conversation around socio-technological issues of our time, together with political and climate issues, makes Cav Empt a very outspoken brand that is not afraid to defend its point of view and stir a discussion around it.
Basic Information: Kith is a New York-based brand, founded by Robbie Fieg in 2010. The brand is the perfect hybrid between Supreme and Vetements. It has garnered a reputation for its multiple collaborations and myriad special releases. His clothing line carries such hype that when a new release drops, people sleep outside of the store in hopes of copping the new items.
Price Range: $$$
Origin and Concept: Kith is all about rethinking the fashion show and creating an entertaining presentation by making the most of each collaboration. The brand only presents its womenswear and menswear once a year, together, emphasizing that they do not adhere to traditional seasons. Its esthetic is pretty unique and it is continually fuelled by collaborations and new collections of sneakers.
My Recommended Product: Nike WMNS Air Jordan Tee. Kind of affordable and a great item for basketball fans! I can totally picture it as an off-duty model look.
Celebrities who are fans: Victor Cruz, Bella Hadid, Rick Ross, Iman Shumpert, Ja Rule, Fabolous, Teyana Taylor, Joey Bada$$, Jourdan Dunn, Victor Oladipo, and A-Trak.
Basic Information: Wtaps is a Japanese streetwear brand created by Tetsu Nishiyama in 1997. The brand is infused with military icons and is at the vanguard of the streetwear movement in Japan. However, due to how hard it is to come by outside of the land of the rising sun, it is not common to find it abroad. On release dates, long queues that rival Supreme’s form around the stores.
Price Range: $$$$
Origin and Concept: Same as other streetwear Japanese brands, its roots date back to the Ura-Harajuku 90s. With strong graphics and designs, Wtaps has created high-quality clothes that all fit into a larger creative dialogue and together create a culture and a story that anyone wants to be a part of.
My Recommended Product: Hanten jacket. This battling jacket showcases superb design and a streamlined aesthetic.