Supreme Founder On The Recession
Interview Magazine has an interview with James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme – the skate-inspired fashion brand with stores in New York, Los Angeles and Japan. There’s some positive inspiration about how he’s handling the downturn including his aims to concentrate on making a great product and also being conservative with production.
We didn’t plan for a financial crisis, but we were already working hard, trying to make really good product, and we’ve always tried to keep our prices as reasonable as we can… I don’t wish for anybody to go out of business, but I think there are far too many things in New York that really shouldn’t be here. I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for more than 20 years, so three or four times I’ve been through things where it’s like, “Wow, it’s a tough time.” Ever since September 11, I’ve been quite conservative in what we’ve ordered. We’ve never really been supply-demand anyway. It’s not like when we’re making something, we make only six of them. But if we can sell 600, I make 400. We’ve always been like that—at least for the past seven or eight years. For every season, we put in a lot of work to try to create exciting stuff. So it’s not like in these difficult times we’re going to suddenly pull up our socks—we’ve always been busting our asses every single day to try to get it right.
There’s plenty more in there about how, by creating for a New York audience, Supreme attracts a Japanese connoisseur.