Supreme New York was one of the pioneers in mixing skate and street culture with highbrow predilections. What's kept it authentic is that Supreme's relationship with art stems from founder James Jebbia's eclectic interests, and a like-minded braintrust and circle of friends who are genuinely into cool shit. While its collaborations with blue-chip artists like Christopher Wool, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons are most prominent on skate decks, Supreme didn't start making them until 1997. That series is commissioned by MoMA PS1's Senior Curatorial Advisor Nevile Wakefield, a friend of Supreme.
As strange as Supreme's relationship with the art world may seem, it all stems from a place of appreciation and iconoclasm. Who says young skate punks can't be into influential art movements? Who says relevant artists need to only show their work at high-profile galleries and museums to be truly validated? The New York label's first artist collaboration dates back to 1994 with Ramellzee, who took his talents to Supreme's apparel and store space.
Supreme's reappropriation is both progressive and subversive. Just today, the brand dropped a series of skate decks with Mark Flood and a hoodie emblazoned with Édouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (that instantly sold out). Granted, while many of its young consumers may not know who an artist is upon buying the Supreme product, there's undoubtedly a mutual benefit—they get to actually learn something. By putting art on some of its most coveted products, Supreme makes the work palatable to a new generation of discerning consumers. Here are 15 Artists Supreme Introduced to Hypebeasts.