Supreme today is one of the most sought-after streetwear brands having gained massive popularity due to its collaborations and cult following. As a result of the brand dominating the streetwear market many pose the question, “why is supreme so expensive?” which we are going to look at in detail.
Supreme is expensive for several reasons such as branding, the resell market, limited stock which drives demand, quality apparel and brand collaborations. All of these factors play a part in influencing their high price points.
While high price points are relative to each individual the resell market is enough to have you wonder why is supreme so expensive. Evidence of this can be found on eBay and Stockx with sellers usually pricing supreme items for thousands of dollars.
Why is Supreme so Expensive? Yours Questions Answered
Supply & Demand (Limited Releases)
As a part of Supreme’s product launch strategy the brand has created a weekly system drop which consists of Supreme making available new limited-edition apparel and accessories available on the website and certain stores. The demand for these products exceeds the supply which inevitably results in higher retail and resell price points.
These weekly drops usually reoccur on the same date and time featuring exclusive limited pieces for a certain amount of time. As Supreme is well known for quality clothing and brand collaboration these drops tend to sell out in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds.
Not only does this allow Supreme to price its merchandise higher than its competitors due to this but it allows resellers to quickly purchase and place on online marketplaces. (More on resales in the next section) This is one of the main reasons Supreme is expensive, consumers want in & if you want it you got to pay the price, literally!
GQ have covered how to Beat the Supreme drop system with ease
Lawrence Schlossman, ( Brand director at Grained) , told Wealthsimple.
“Supreme is the only company anywhere, outside of like Tesla or some shit, where the sell-through rate is literally like 99 or 100 percent,
It’s hard to really put into words how much bigger the demand and want and audience is for Supreme products versus the amount of Supreme that exists in the world. Proportionally speaking, I can’t think of another business that has been so successful employing scarcity on purpose.”
Brands such as supreme creating artificial scarcity is what allows the resell market to thrive! Intentionally not producing enough product results in expensive price tags.
For consumers who did not want to wait hours in line for product or got online late must pay the resell price.
While many consumers believe supreme to be expensive it should be worth noting supreme fairly prices a lot of their product, for example t shirts and hoodies are usually marked at $40-$100, however once bought and placed online these same products become $1000 +
Image via www.wealthsimple.com
The above image is a visual demonstration of the resell market! Its clear to see affordable retail prices. Therefore, when people pose the question “Why is Supreme so Expensive “they are usually referring to resell prices not retail.
In addition to this websites such as Stockx & Grailed have provided solutions which make the resell market legitimate and trustworthy. While eBay is still a great option for resells, there are many counterfeit products flooding the platform.
Supreme’s brand identity not only consists of colour schemes, design and the iconic box logo but also takes into account the preconceived value in the consumers mind. This enables Supreme to build a cult like following as a result of savvy marketing and visual story telling.
This consumer loyalty allows Supreme to mark their items at high price points which typically sees high sales rates! A plain t shirt at your local supermarket retails for $15, slap the supreme box logo on the same shirt and its now $500. That’s branding!
Not only is supreme a brand selling clothing, but a brand perceived by its consumers as a community of street savvy and conscious individuals.
Hip Hop Endorsement
The power & influence of Hip Hop culture has been leveraged by fashion brands since the 80s. Take Run DMC and Adidas for example, not only was this the first partnership deal between a rap group and Sports Corporation, but it allowed adidas to generate millions in sales for years to come.
Its important to note that Supreme did not start of as an urban brand, it was a fashion label predominately targeting the skateboard community. Supreme understanding the power of Hip Hop created the first Photo Tee in 2005 using Raekwon and then Dipset the following year.
Since then Supreme has garnered the attention of Hip Hop culture and can be seen on artists such as Travis Scott, 2 Chains, & Asap Rocky wearing the brand. This influence gives Supreme street credibility thus giving the brand permission to price up merchandise.
High Quality Apparel
For streetwear brands such as Supreme, Bape & Stüssy to successfully sell high priced apparel consistently then consumers will need to have the best fabrics and quality.
While people may be able to overlook the price of an item regardless of how expensive it is, they cannot overlook poor quality. Therefore, one of the main reasons Supreme is expensive is because it provides long lasting quality apparel to customers. It costs to produce these clothing and remember there a business that need to profit.
We also concluded the same reason in our why is Bape so expensive? editorial.
To quote ourselves
“If Bape are going to price its items from $100 – $700 and everything in-between then they must provide quality!
Nobody wants to spend premium prices on an item only for it to show signs of wear and tear or early signs of colour fading.”
Same applies to Supreme! – HIGH QUALITY CLOTHES + HIGH DEMAND = HIGH PRICES!
At this point Supreme has collaborated with multiple brands from Nike to Rimowa suitcases and while some collaboration has us scratching our head theres no doubting the uniqueness about each one.
The message being conveyed is “THERE ARE NO RULES” when it comes to contemporary streetwear which aligns with Supremes’ brand! Wanting to create unorthodox collaborations that increases brand value.
While there’s confusion about their collab choices there is no confusion about the price tag. These unique partnerships usually mean higher retail price tags!
Some of Supremes’ most Obscure Collaborations were captured by Highsnobiety!
Hypebeasts are single handily the reason for Supremes most expensive prices and here’s how
Phase 1 – Supreme’s stock supply does not match the demand
Phase 2 – Hypebeast purchase retail prices and then resell for more, Simple
While hypebeast culture could go under our resell section we felt it was well deserving of its own category to further empathize that hype beasts influence the secondary market which should answer your why is supreme so expensive question.
As long as the want , need and desire for the latest fashion is a thing then we will continue to see expensive supreme being sold.
In a nutshell Supreme is expensive for a variety of reasons, artificial scarcity created by the brand themselves, collaborations, quality, hype beast culture and customer loyalty. In order to beat these expensive prices individuals must continue to pay attention to their drop system and pay retail prices.
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