Louis Vuitton x Supreme has created enough column inches to go down as one of, if not the, most talked-about collabs in history.
One factor that made the collaboration so controversial was its astronomical pricing. With all items being produced and distributed by Louis Vuitton rather than Supreme, the collection was always going to sit in the luxury brand’s price structure. Once you factor in the collaboration aspect and the limited production, prices once again increased on top of LV’s regular pricing.
A $484 T-shirt or a $935 hoodie may seem expensive compared to regular Supreme pieces, but considering their extortionate resell prices — up to $2,000 for the tee and $5,000 for the hoodie — there’s clearly a thirst for the gear, and an opportunity for resellers to make some serious profit.
Box logo tees and hoodies are pretty straightforward items to sell on the secondary market, but what about the items at the higher end of the pricing spectrum? By far the most exclusive and expensive items from the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collection are the made-to-order trunks.
Louis Vuitton was only 16 years old when he moved to Paris to become an apprentice trunk maker. His “Malle” trunk was the first to feature a flat top and bottom, making it stackable and more easily transportable. These trunks would become the foundation of his self-titled company, and they’ve been a Louis Vuitton mainstay since 1858.
Both the Louis Vuitton x Supreme trunks are bespoke, made-to-order items, and that’s reflected in their price tags. The Boîte skateboard trunk retails for $46,000, and the Malle Courrier 90 trunk commands a whopping $57,000(!).
Rich kids have always splashed huge sums of cash on flashy items. Traditional status symbol brands such as Hublot watches, Cartier jewellery and Brioni suits are being sidelined by a new generation of teenage millionaires whose tastes lean more towards streetwear. To a lot of these kids, Supreme is the ultimate status symbol due to its limited production runs, huge resale value and dedicated online following.
Social media has allowed those with the financial means to buy up entire Supreme collections on the secondary market and then flex them as online bragging rights. The fact that so many of these so-called “grails” are then quickly resold to similar buyers for the same reason means you end up with the same products constantly changing hands for increasingly huge sums.
Maybe the thirst for Supreme will become so huge that in the near future only those with eye-watering bank accounts will be able to afford a sizable collection. I have no idea if the kids buying this stuff are into any of Supreme’s eclectic references — like Bad Brains, Lou Reed or Lee Scratch Perry — or if any of them are interested in skateboarding.
Having followed Supreme for over two decades, I find the contrast of hanging out in the old Lafayette St. store — where chatting shit was more important than buying clothes — to the excessive sums of money changing hands for this collaboration somewhat bizarre.
I was fascinated to find out what possesses someone so young to part with what’s essentially a house deposit in exchange for an item of luggage.
Is it down to a love of Supreme, for online bragging rights or a gamble on making some resell profit?
To read the interview with the rich kids, head on over to Highsnobiety