Can a cult brand survive going corporate? Supreme, a streetwear company, is so popular that fans wait hours in line to buy its gear, like T-shirts stamped with Kate Moss’s face or branded bricks (for show, not construction – see in Comments below). The company deliberately restricts the supply of its products, creating hot resale markets. At one point, those bricks were selling for $1,000 on eBay.
This week, VF Corporation — which owns brands including North Face and Vans — announced that it was buying Supreme for $2.1 billion. The deal is another marker of the brand’s success and the lucrativeness of the streetwear market in general. But it has also left fans and industry analysts wondering: How will Supreme stay cool when it’s part of a giant corporation?