Supreme creates frenzy
In a recent collaboration with the MTA, the streetwear brand Supreme launched a limited run of MetroCards with the brand’s logo last week. With Supreme’s immense worldwide popularity, the demand for these branded MetroCards was incredibly high.
The MetroCards were sold at the only Supreme store in New York City and in seven different train stations. People waited for several hours to purchase the MetroCard that retailed for the regular price of $5.50.
Supreme first launched in 1994 in New York City with skaters as its target market. The brand has unique marketing plans such as only manufacturing a limited amount of merchandise, which makes its supplies incredibly difficult to obtain at retail price.
With only ten stores in the world, the opportunity to purchase items is extremely limited. As a result, Supreme products are sold out within mere minutes after being put up for sale on its online store. The brand also releases new clothing every week for every season to keep up the hype. Consumers known as “hypebeasts” frequently buy as much Supreme merchandise as possible in order to sell it for major profit.
The brand has an anarchical message that tells consumers to spend their money on what they want without second thought. The message addresses various current political and social issues that may appeal to many people.
Supporters value the authenticity that has made Supreme and its loyal fans a society of their own. Collaborations with major brands, such as Nike, North Face and Playboy, feature prominent artists like Lady Gaga, Gucci Mane, Kate Moss , Mike Tyson and Neil Young. Due to Supreme’s limited supplies and its extraordinary popularity, many people who have access to its items are not necessarily fans of the brand but are simply looking to make profit.
A Supreme T-shirt that featured Moss retailed for about $40 but is currently being resold on eBay for upward of $500. Items are generally resold for at least double the price of the retail price and the most popular items are sold at a reckless amount that is significantly higher than the original price.
The branded Supreme MetroCard is currently facing resell of up to $1,000 on eBay. Using the MetroCard to access the train may be the last reason many people want to obtain it. Owning the card is more symbolic because it is more about the brand and the feeling of possessing something that is so hard to obtain.
People from countries such as Indonesia and Mexico are ordering these MetroCards from resellers. Supreme’s reputation in today’s pop culture has made this collaboration fruitful for the MTA.
It is the legacy of this brand that makes Supreme an advantageous collaborator. While it may be a good financial idea for the MTA to work with other brands to continue to produce special-edition MetroCards, the effects will not be the same as they were with Supreme.
Supreme is in high demand all over the world, which differentiates it from many other brands. For the MTA, the chaos is over. For Supreme fans, however, the brand will continue its weekly release schedule.