Image via Alina Boldina /

It’s a running joke that you can stick the Supreme logo onto any old thing and it will add more zeros to its value. The New York skateboard store-turned-cult streetwear label is so coveted that it’s inspired many a copycat, with one imitation brand even fooling Samsung into a collaboration.

In a video series titled ‘So Expensive’, Business Insider investigates the secret to what makes Supreme so supreme.

Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist at University College London, surmises that an increased exposure to the Supreme logo will only make people want it more, since it breeds a familiarity and “almost a sense of connection” to the brand.

Not many brands can also sponge off the trademarks of other businessess—such as Louis Vuitton’s emblem—without fear. Supreme, on the other hand, has received several cease-and-desist letters but continues to appropriate pop culture icons. As such, the label’s products seem to appear more like artworks or reaction pieces than superficial objects.

In addition, Supreme’s wares are especially difficult to get. Not only are they released in limited counts to shortlisted customers, but fans can only purchase one variation of a certain product—referred to as a one-limit-per-style rule—when they’re finally accepted to join a queue.

“So what that means is, if a shirt comes out in black, red and gray, you can only get it in gray,” Supreme fan Chris Magnaye tells Business Insider. If you desire a second colorway, you’ll have to get someone else to join the line. For this reason, many people queue up on behalf of others.

Interestingly, Supreme also owes part of its success to people who might not even appreciate its offerings. These are the business-minded souls who purchase its wares at retail prices and resell them online. Since the products are so limited, selling them at marked-up prices can be quite easy.

However, Magnaye cautions that not all Supreme items will make lucrative investments. For those wishing to pivot into this field, he advises that you crawl Supreme-focused social media accounts to observe which products get the most positive reactions. These are likely the ones that will sell well.

All told, Supreme has not been able to trademark its logo despite its fame and wealth. Here’s why.

[via Business Insider, cover image via Alina Boldina /]

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