Shortypop, a product of the mind of NikeTalk forum fiend and parodying art student Chandler Easly, was simultaneously adventurous and entrepreneurial when it decided to parody James Jebbia's Supreme. When Shortypop started to tread on the turf of Supreme's iconic box logo, Supreme did what it needed to do to shut Shortypop down—by reportedly paying Easly $20,000 to kill the brand. But what really happened to Shortypop during its existence? How did it go from a brand born in the NikeTalk forum to a brand some still wonder about?
HighSnobiety tracked down Shortypop founder Chandler Easly to dissect the brand's history and get his story on how Supreme shut him down via monetary settlement.
Shortypop began thanks to Easly's own interest in NikeTalk. His obsession with the online sneaker forum would inevitably link him up with Latisha Embrey, whose username—Shortypop—would go on to become the name of their joint project. Cashing in on Embrey's established online persona, the shirts made a killing when sold online to NikeTalk forum members and Supreme fans. This was around spring 2008.
From spring 2008 to fall of the same year, Easly slowed down on Shortypop and focused on his studies (he was a student at the Art Institute in Chicago), reviving the dormant brand in 2010 after finding a collector's size Miss Piggy doll on eBay. Taking inspiration from the now-iconic Kermit the Frog x Supreme photo tee, Easly set to work flipping the iconic NYC label.
"I positioned it that Shortypop was turning out Kermit’s girl," Easly told HighSnobiety. "In hindsight, I would have gone further to push the analogy even harder. I did 100 [shirts] in each color and made $4,000 dollars in revenue.”
But for all the positive attention that the Miss Piggy parody scored Shortypop, it also drew the ire of Supreme, who bought Shortypop's T-shirt as a sort of " fact-finding mission," according to Easly. Thanks to his dad's work connections, Shortypop lawyered up, hiring a high-powered attorney with experiences in corporate law. Needless to say, Easly's legal counsel helped convince Jebbia and company to pay Shortypop $20,000. In return, Easly would shut down Shortypop.
Right now, Easly says he's proud of challenging Supreme, but also interested in using his history with Shortypop as a springboard for other, more personal creative endeavors. But if you think that you could do what Easly did today, you might want to think again. Easly, certainly had a special advantage that made this scuffle with Supreme go down a lot smoother than you'd expect.
“That [lawyer] convinced them that it was better for them to pay me rather than sue me in order to dead the shit,” Easley told HighSnobiety. “I mean this guy is a power attorney and wears a $10,000 dollar suit. This never would have happened if my dad wasn’t an attorney."
Read the full story with all the details over at HighSnobiety.