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Tremaine Emory Resigns From Supreme

Reports have emerged that Tremaine Emory has resigned from his position as the first-ever creative director of Supreme since the brand was acquired by VF Corp in 2020. Emory had been in the role for about a year and a half.

Prior to his resignation, rumors had been circulating about strained relations between Emory and the senior management at Supreme. Earlier this week, Complex broke the news that Emory and Supreme were parting ways. Business of Fashion obtained a copy of Emory’s resignation letter, giving us deeper insight into what caused the breakup.

Based on Emory’s resignation letter, the decision to leave Supreme centers around allegations of systemic racism and what he described as senior management's "inability to communicate" with him about the "cancellation" of a long-planned fashion collaboration with major Black American artist Arthur Jafa. Emory, who also founded the fashion label Denim Tears, has expressed his intentions of using fashion as a platform to educate consumers on the Black experience.

In response, Supreme told Business of Fashion, "While we take these concerns seriously, we strongly disagree with Tremaine’s characterization of our company and the handling of the Arthur Jafa project, which has not been canceled." Though the brand has featured prominent Black figures like Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan and Malcolm X on its apparel, it has faced criticism for capitalizing on Black communities.

Emory’s departure comes at a precarious time for Supreme. According to VF Corp, revenues for the brand dipped from $561.5 million the previous year to $523.1 million as of March 2023. Questions also loom about whether the brand can maintain its countercultural cachet as it expands its retail footprint globally.

Appointing Tremaine was a significant decision for the brand as, according to Supreme, “This was the first time in 30 years where the company brought in a creative director.” The label ended its statement: "We are disappointed it did not work out with Tremaine and wish him the best of luck going forward.”

What this all means for Supreme, a brand that has been a cornerstone of streetwear culture since its founding in 1994, remains to be seen. With sliding sales and a significant exit amid serious allegations, the brand may have to look hard at its inner workings to maintain its position in the highly competitive streetwear market. Keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the latest releases, raffles, news, and more.


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