Tremaine Emory Opens Up About Supreme Exit, Says Brand Wanted Him to Cite ‘Structural Issues’

The new interview follows the Denim Tears founder saying in a series of IG updates that "systemic racial issues" were at the center of his decision.

tremaine emory is seen at event
Image via Getty/Lexie Moreland/WWD/Penske Media
tremaine emory is seen at event

Tremaine Emory has opened up about his Supreme exit in a new interview, telling the Washington Post he felt like "a mascot" during his time with the VF Corporation-owned brand.

Complex first reported that Emory was leaving his role as creative director at the brand, followed by a Business of Fashion piece stating that the Denim Tears founder had cited "systematic racism" in his resignation letter. Shortly after, Emory shared a number of Instagram updates in which he elaborated on his decision to leave.

According to Emory, who shared a number of screenshot-captured text messages, he "fought tooth and nail into the 25th hour" for a joint statement with leadership on why he was departing.

Speaking with Rachel Tashjian for a piece published Friday, the designer shared more, including further insight into what he says happened with the Arthur Jafa collab mentioned in his IG posts earlier this week. Emory told the Post that Supreme founder James Jebbia "removed images of a lynching and a formerly enslaved person" from the collaboration without consulting him first.

While further discussions are said to have taken place, including suggestions of other images to use in the collab, Emory said he was told he was being "racially charged" and "emotional."

Adding more details to what he previously said on IG about allegedly being told to deny aspects of what informed his exit, Emory said management asked him to not use the words “racial” or “race” in any statements.

“I say, guys, I’m only doing the radical truth,” Emory said “They wanted to say, Tremaine left because of structural issues within Supreme.”

For the full piece, which includes Supreme’s previously released statement stating it "strongly" disagrees with Emory's "characterization of our company and the handling of the Arthur Jafa project," head here.

Next for Emory is a new Denim Tears drop, as he teased on IG on Thursday.

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