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Is Supreme closing the Lafayette Street OG location for good?

The store in Downtown Manhattan where Supreme was founded by James Jebbia in 1994 is up for lease

Is Supreme closing the Lafayette Street OG location for good? The store in Downtown Manhattan where Supreme was founded by James Jebbia in 1994 is up for lease

It was the spring of 1994 when a young James Jebbia was leasing - with a deposit of just 12 thousand dollars - a store on Lafayette Street, in Manhattan. In those square meters Supreme was born, which in 20 years has gone from being a brand for skaters in New York to revolutionizing the world of fashion and marketing. The store opened by Jebbia was the epicenter and the place where the Supreme's Realness was shaped. Supreme originally announced in February that the Lafayette store was undergoing renovations and that its current store on 190 Bowery would only be temporary, but from Last night, social media accounts shared photos of "Space for Lease" signs appearing on the windows of Supreme's original location. 

The news - picked up by Complex and some Twitter users - was not confirmed by the brand: it could be one of Supreme's findings (as for the next location in Milan), or a silent choice of the brand that would always move away from more from its origins.

 

The House of Realness

In the 1990s, 274 Lafayette Street was not just a store. It was more a hang out spot, where anyone could spend the afternoons smoking joints, drinking beer and doing tricks on the sidewalk in front of the window, while the beats of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) came out of the speakers. Aaron Bondaroff (the first Supreme employee together with Gio Estevez) said he had hosted people to sleep in the store for more than one night, stories and characters destined to enter New York underground mythology. A penetrating smell of flowers and bark could be felt in the air, for the Nag Champa incenses that will remain a tradition of the brand. In that narrow space the souls met - skater, hip-hop, arty and fashion - who would shape the vision of the James Jebbia brand and create the myth of Supreme boxlogo.

From the Larry Clark's Kids to the hypebeasts, in more than 20 years the sidewalks of Lafayette St have hosted artists, camps, fights: it is a small mirror of the evolution of streetwear and the closure would mark the end of an era for world streetwear. Supreme's strategy has shift since the Carlyle investment fund bought 50% of the brand for 500 million dollars, although the products have remained the same, Supreme has silently begun a strategy of expanding physical locations - the next openings will be San Francisco and Milan - which aims to expand the business without breaking the game of exclusivity on which the brand has built its success.
This process aims to limit the resell market, but inevitably causes losses among OG fans who see the counter-cultural and rebellious soul betrayed when Supreme was founded in 1994 at 274 Lafayette Street, New York City.