Battle of Supremes



The New York brand Supreme has been battling with "legal fakes" of their signature logo.

Samsung announced a collaboration with Supreme, a skateboarding shop and clothing line, in December of 2018. However, the catch was that it wasn’t the real Supreme, at least not the New York based one. They started to collaborate with the copycat Supreme Italia, a fake Supreme store that was set up in Italy that parallels the successful Supreme brand. Hence, the term “legal fake” was developed.

Supreme is one of the most popular street wear clothing franchises throughout the world, and is worth over $1,000,000,000, according to reports in CNN. Also the company has spanned over countries like the United Kingdom, Paris and Japan, with Japan having almost 6 stores throughout the country. A lot of Supreme NY stores are really exclusive too, where buyers have to be scheduled first to come and shop.

An Italian company became aware of how popular Supreme had gotten, and created their own Supreme Italia stores overseas, unbeknownst to Supreme NY. Shortly after the Italian store opened, fake Supreme stores in Spain and China followed.  The overseas stores, which slightly altered the company logo, sell products in the stores  that almost copy Supreme NY exactly, with minor changes to design from the logo all the way to merchandise.

Now how are these knock off stores and fakes being registered and not taken down? Well, the answer is quite simple: they’re legal fakes. The way a legal fake works is that if a company doesn’t claim the trademark of their company in that specific country, like Italy or Spain, than some other businesses may claim the the company’s name and merchandise for themselves.

For Supreme NY, the battle is far from over. According to the Vice article “The History of Supreme’s Battle with ‘Supreme,’” the original store challenged Supreme Italia and won, due to Supreme having proof they filed for a trademark in Italy first. So, Supreme Italia  moved to Spain and claimed the Supreme name to make it Supreme Spain. After that, the fake Supreme brand registered under the World Intellectual Property Organization(WPO) for the Asian market where Supreme Italia has opened many stores and signed a deal with Samsung.

Later in the year though, the deal with Samsung well through when the truth came out. Samsung never released a statement about why they ended the collaboration. The best bet of why is because of how many people called out Samsung for the collab with a legal fake company. 

Supreme NY has done many things trying to stop the fakes stores that have popped up in China and Spain, but there seems to be no end into these “legal fakes.”