Ok, it’s been a month, so it was high time for some Supra updates!
First of all, June and July (so far) have been month of announcements and confirmations ranging from partnership to new division and including new model or technology launches.
So let’s start with the partnerships!
Lil Wayne had long been seen wearing Supra either on stage or skating, and there had been rumors about a collaboration between the rapper and the skate shoe brand till he announced on a TV show he “had signed with Supra”. From then, it was a matter of time till Supra make an official announcement.
Finally, on mid-June, the confirmation Weezy fans had been waiting for arrived: ONE Distribution, parent company of Supra footwear label, through its Global Vice President of Brands Matt Fontana, officially declared:
Lil Wayne is a true style icon and a trendsetter. He’s perfectly suited for a collection with SUPRA because he embodies the same spirit that drives the brand: he’s a leader, not a follower. We’re ecstatic about creating a range of shoes with Lil Wayne.
The collection designed by the Young Money artists preview at this year PROJECT Trade Show in Las Vegas on August 20-22. Are the Falcons part of it? Who knows!
Michael Dupouy of La MJC has been pretty closed of the European Supra family those past 12 months and it ended up in a bilateral partnership: Supra sponsored the last Parisian Solemart event while the French streetwear entrepreneur applied his design chops to Supra’s Owen running shoe. Featuring a black mesh upper, the shoe has leopard print microfiber overlays throughout the toe, quarter and heel, all of which rests atop a white Suprafoam sole. A matching leopard patterned La MJC sockliner finishes the look.
Super-limited, there were only 14 pairs of the special-edition shoe made, with 10 available for purchase on June 24th at Solemart Paris
Sneaker Freaker is a bi-annual Australian independent magazine dedicated to coverage of topics relating to sneakers. The magazine was launched in 2002 and has a current print run of 30,000 copies, it is sold in over 35 countries. So as you may have guessed, they are eager to celebrate their 10th anniversary this year.
And what a better way than a Sneaker Freaker x Supra collaboration whose offspring is a Skytop 3 described by the Aussie magazine as their greatest colab to date?
It’s also maybe the best Skytop 3 colorway to date in my opinion, probably because it manages to gather all the elements that made me fall in love with my first pair of favorite sneakers (Nike Air Tech Challenge): orange, purple, speckled midsole.
Unfortunately for us mere mortals, just a few dozen pairs of the Goldenballs were made and offered to guests at the Supra x Sneaker Freaker party in Berlin last week.
Maybe less known in the sneaker world but not of a minor importance, I talked here a couple of weeks ago about a collaboration the accessory brand cherished by pop stars: A-Morir.
What I didn’t know then is that it was the cornerstone of what sounds like an aggressive commercial expansion plan for the brand: the birth of a line for women’s footwear composed of many of the iconic silhouettes Supra has come to be known for, but in new color ways and new materials such as sequin, glitter, animal print, foil, metallic, embroidery, and more.
In addition to a full range of women’s sizes that should satisfy their loyal following among female sneakerheads (the most famous being Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan), each style was reconstructed from a new last that was created for a woman’s foot to ensure superior fit and comfort. In the company’s statement, Matt Fontana added “Supra is a brand that was created in consideration of, and respect for, the consumer.” In other words: your girlfriend won’t have to steal your sneakers and use 3 extra pairs of socks anymore!
The centerpiece of this brand new Supra Footwear Collection for Women is the A-Morir x Supra Skytop, the most iconic silhouette of the brand ever, worn by many celebrities (who doesn’t remember Jay-z’ feet in the ‘Umbrella’ video?) done in black and chrome sequins. Here is what Kerin Rose, founder of A-Morir had to say:
Much like my approach to A-Morir eyewear, I wanted to design a sneaker I hadn’t seen before. This Skytop fills a huge need for a fashionable women’s sneaker and I know the rest of the range will as well. I’m so honored to have the A-Morir collaboration be the first shoe in what is sure to be an exquisite range for women.
And even if Supra didn’t unclosed it officially by now, you can expect a surprise for the kids real soon (probably this week already):
Christmas will never be the same anymore lol!
And let’s close the announcement chapter with a serious point: the application of a striated Suprafoam sole on the very first models of the brand: the Skytop and the Vaider.
It’s just like if Supra is following in the footsteps of giant Nike with its Lunarlon system, implementing its most iconic models in order to improve performance. And this could go really far! Is a new technical skate shoe era coming?
As part of their “Moon pack”, the Skytop Lite has been crafted on top of ultra-lightweight striated while soles designed to reduce weight, evenly distribute impact and discourage compression wrinkles. Aside from that, the shoes are wrapped in durable, deep black Raptor TUF and have padded black mesh lining. The perfect weapons for skating!
As far as new colorways and models are concerned, my favorite from the past 30 days are:
Skytop III “Immortal”
What’s harder to destroy and more timeless than an all-black shoe? You got it, that the explanation behind this model’s name: soft black leather with suede coming in on the ankle, and you’re now ready to wear your Skytop 3 till the end of time.
Skytop III “Royal blue leather upper”
From the day I started skateboarding I’ve always seen the Royal blue x Black combination. I don’t know where it comes from and it took me a long time to like it. But now, I’d wear it easily!
Skytop III “Caramel Raptor TUF”
Like everything caramel: yummy!
I’m a fan of everything white/gum.
Stevie Williams S1W
The shoe is dope. It’s so dope I don’t want to skate in it. But even when the laces are torn up and the sole is kickflipped out, it actually looks like a dope shoe.
Whether you want to wear it just for lifestyle purposes, or you want to wear it for skateboarding and look cool at the same time—either way you wear it, the shoe looks good on and off the board.
Stevie Williams’s first signature shoe from Supra, the S1W, is finally out.
Three more colorways of the all-new Supra Stevie Williams S1W have emerged days after I unveiled the first three (royal blue, “South Beach-esque”, black/white):
Belay and Wrap “Strip pack”
Perfect for the summer with a nautic vibe even if the stripes are not blue.
Tk Society Wyland
I’m not a fan of “South Beach-esque” colorway but those vibrant colors are well used on those Tk Society: all black suede with some brilliant splashes of color as details. Approved!
Cuttler Low “Two”
Minimal design and simple colorway but high end finishing touches with luxurious leathers for those slim fitting low tops. Nice and fresh for those who want to keep it simple.
I told you an Olympic theme was coming.
You can expect at least two sneakers in that pack, one of them being the Owen obviously for being the only runner shoe of the brand. Olympic, runner, you go it? Yes, unfortunately skateboarding is still not an Olympic game.
So now, why such a title for the post?
Supra is without a doubt the most successful new footwear brand of the new century. And I’m not speaking only about skate shoes. I’m speaking as an overall category: casual, performance, skate (of course, not luxury shoes).
What Angel Cabada, Erik Ellington and Jim Greco founded in 2006 hasn’t been affected by the recession (at least it didn’t prevent the young brand from keeing on growing) and managed not only to gather best best skate team in years, but also to redefine the skate shoe market landscape. A market where you’ve got to be an insider and have what would be called in the rap slang “street cred” to perpetuate. A market once dominated by the Sole Technology empire (now semi-decadent). A market once almost eaten up by the big machine DC Shoe Company USA. A market where Nike was once rejected and is now one of the main, if not THE main player.
But Supra has known how to keep growing quietly, cleverly, (not so)slowly but surely. And while the crowned brand has attracted much attention from young women and mainstream audience with their footwear on stars like Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Will Smith’s son, etc, they’re now offering a running shoe, a full ladies and kids footwear line.
They’re clearly inspired by what DC Shoes did in the late 90s/beginning of 2000s (widen their audience, but the difference is they won’t focus on the action sports lifestyle) and by the aesthetic Nike 6.0 adopted to seduce their female consumers. But they’re bold too: they want to get big, and that’s why they’re producing their own technology similar to the one of the giants in the sport industry (i.e: Suprafoam vs Nike Lunarlon cushioning system).
Want to sell sneakers? Target the people who are sneaker consumers. What a bigger sneakerhead community than hip hop community? That’s why Prodigy/MOBB DEEP is now part of the Supra family, they sponsored a 50Cent/Eminem show a while ago, Just Blaze got the Skytop 2 treatment. And Chief Keef will be the next one since he wants to do something with the Californian brand.
Now that Supra is definitely having a moment, they have to be pretty cautious not to put the company out of business by being too greedy, which is what happened to DC Shoes in my opinion.
By the way, my DC Shoes comparisons are not so innoncent since last year One Distribution hired Michelle Smith as SVP of Sales, former SVP of Sales too at… DC Shoes.
All in all, I think they really know what they’re doing and I wish them all the best… and I wish one day they might hire me!
Long live Supra!