Tremaine Emory Is Releasing 'Systemic Racism Controls America' Collab With Arthur Jafa

One image shows a Supreme-satirizing hoodie emblazoned with the statement "Systemic racism controls America."

Man in patterned suit and sunglasses standing in an event space
Image via Getty/Bennett Raglin/Fashion Scholarship Fund
Man in patterned suit and sunglasses standing in an event space

Tremaine Emory has a new collaboration between Arthur Jafa and Denim Tears on the way.

Featured in teaser imagery shared to Instagram and Twitter on Monday is a flip of a previously released Supreme piece; while the Supreme hoodie is emblazoned with the statement "Illegal business controls America," the Denim Tears one instead reads, "Systemic racism controls America." In the photo below, those familiar with Jafa's work will note the presence of the artist's "LeRage" piece from 2017 on the t-shirt worn under the hoodie.

The Denim Tears and Arthur Jafa collaboration will launch on April 26 at 11 a.m. ET via the Denim Tears site and at the brand’s recently opened New York flagship, African Diaspora Goods.

The new collaboration was also teased with a video of a Rubik's Cube being solved that featured the "systemic racism" quote in the iconic Supreme font and bright red, captioned with words from the late James Baldwin, specifically an excerpt from his Notes of a Native Son collection of essays: "I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

Emory later shared a closer look at the full collaboration, including designs (like an 1863 image of Peter, who escaped from slavery in Louisiana) that were said to be at the core of the artist and designer's exit from Supreme.

As fans will recall, Emory left his role as creative director at Supreme last August, with the reason for his surprise exit not initially disclosed. Later, however, Emory said he left the brand "because of systemic racial issues the company has from the treatment of the Arthur Jafa collab to the makeup of the design studio that has less than 10 percent minorities."

In a subsequent interview on Touré's podcast, Emory elaborated further on his experience, including more info on how he says the would-be Supreme collaboration with Jafa was mishandled.

More recently, Emory opened up about his final conversation with the late Virgil Abloh, whose death was a key part of his inspiration in taking the role at Supreme.

"I should have just been, like, 'Guys, I'll talk to you in a month. One of my best friends just died,'" Emory said on an episode of Business of HYPE in March.

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