Supreme is set to re-release two epic tees today in celebration of its 20th Anniversary. One of these features Robert DeNiro in character as Travis Bickle for the movie Taxi Driver. The original tee was released in 1994, when the shop first opened, and the OG piece has reached grail-levels for die-hard streetwear fans.
While you have a chance to cop the reissue, nothing will ever top having the original. Even if you do have a '94 version, you will never top Clarence Nathans’ tee, because this particular one has been signed by over 100 skateboard pros that have passed through the shop’s Laffayette Street locale.
Frehnessmag caught up with the PremiumGoods owner to chop it up about the tee that you might have seen only pictures of in Supreme’s coffee table book. A few excerpts are below. He goes more in-depth about his appreciation for the brand, how he acquired the tee, and more on the Freshnessmag website.
On the background of the T-shirt:
"This tee is very interesting… I first saw it at Supreme in the stockroom when I started to hang out there. It was just hung up on an exposed beam with thumbtacks. From what I remember; my friend Chappy who worked there would have pro skaters autograph this shirt when they came to the shop. Over the years the signatures accumulated and it became it’s own thing. Then you had local downtown guys, artist and shop staff who worked or hung out at Supreme would autograph it as well."
On what he thinks about the re-release of these 2 graphics:
"I think it’s incredible. There are soooo many Supreme tees I wish they would remake. Anyway the only reason I’m even doing this interview with you guys is because of the re-release of these graphics. The box logo doesn’t really count as a re-release because they have produced box logo tees throughout the years. But the Taxi Driver release will be the first re-issue Supreme tee shirt ever. Part of what makes Supreme in demand is that everything is made only once. After it sells out you can’t get it again unless you hit the resellers market. That’s the same reason the box logo 5 panel caps sell for so much because kids started noticing them after Tyler the Creator wore them at the VMAs. Think of how many 5 panels were made between 1994 and 2010? Anyway being that they’re re-releasing I wanted to show this special tee along side the re-issiue and to give some history on it. The Supreme table book just shows photos but I can explain how and what it was about."
On how he became owner of the tee:
"My friend Chappy knew that I collected Supreme stuff. So when he needed to unload some og stuff we sat down and discussed what would be the best thing to do with it. He wanted to sell it on eBay and I persuaded him not too. The reason was that at that time (about 2006) it wouldn’t have sold for much of anything because it’s priceless. I say priceless because there is no reference point to base a price off of.
1- you couldn’t find original Taxi Driver tees for sale anywhere. Let alone any original Supreme design.
2- the autographs make this tee shirt that more special. Some of the autographs are by skaters who are no longer with us. Harold Hunter, Justin Pierce, Keenan Milton for example.
3- it would only be of value to someone who is into Supreme. To let it go to someone who would just resell after they purchased it from us would be disgraceful.
He decided to leave it with me because he knows I would never sell this shirt and if I ever decided to let it go I would give it to Supreme owner James Jebbia."