Tremaine Emory Has Reportedly Stepped Down As Creative Director Of Supreme
Above photo: Tremaine Emory
DENIM TEAR DESIGNER TREMAINE EMORY AND STREETWEAR BRAND SUPREME HAS PARTED WAYS. HE PRESENTED HIS FINAL COLLECTION FOR THE BRAND.
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — News broke late last night (August 29), that fashion designer Tremaine Emory has reportedly left his role as creative director at Supreme. Streetwear title Complex, was the first to break the news, citing anonymous sources.
Complex revealed that sources advised them that “Supreme’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection will be the last under Emory’s creative direction“. At the time of this post, the reason for Emory‘s abrupt departure is currently unknown.
Emory, who is also creative director of Denim Tears, was Supreme’s first-ever creative director and first major appointment since it was acquired by North Face-owner VF Corp. in 2020 in a deal that valued the streetwear brand at $2.1 billion. Previously creative decision-making was steered primarily by founder James Jebbia.
The Spring/Summer 2023 collection was the first under Emory‘s creative direction. The brand recently released the first pieces from its Fall/Winter 2023 line, Emory‘s second full collection, and a collaboration which rapper NBA Young Boy (see it here).
During his two seasons, Emory injected his own creativity into the brand. He created varsity jackets featuring art by close friend and Cactus Plant Flea Market founder Cynthia Lu, durags made in collaboration with Coogi that resemble the Australian brand’s iconic sweaters, and that he dubbed a “love letter to the block”.
Denim Tears, which has collaborated with brands including Levi’s, Ugg, Converse and Champion, is known for telling stories about the African diaspora, and promoting racial justice and cultural activism through its designs, such as its signature cotton wreath motif.
The iconic American streetwear brand has had its fair share of struggles in recent years. Streetwear isn’t as relevant as it once was. The Supreme brand is dead!
In June, VF Corp.’s annual report revealed that Supreme‘s revenues declined in the fiscal year that ended in March 2023.
According to Business of Fashion, Tremaine Emory is exiting the streetwear giant, alleging “systematic racism” at the company.
Per BoF, “Creative director Tremaine Emory is exiting the streetwear giant after a year and a half in the role over allegations that systematic racism was at play within the structure of Supreme,” according to a letter of resignation seen by the online publication. A representative for Supreme confirmed the departure to BoF.
“Emory’s decision to leave Supreme centred around senior management’s ‘inability to communicate’ with him about the ‘cancellation‘ of a long-planned fashion collaboration with major Black American artist Arthur Jafa and offer ‘full visibility for the reasons behind it,’ according to Emory’s resignation letter. “This caused me a great amount of distress as well as the belief that systematic racism was at play within the structure of Supreme.” The company said the collaboration hasn’t been cancelled, though it has yet to be released.
“While we take these concerns seriously, we strongly disagree with Tremaine’s characterisation of our company and the handling of the Arthur Jafa project, which has not been cancelled,” Supreme said in a statement. “This was the first time in 30 years where the company brought in a creative director. We are disappointed it did not work out with Tremaine and wish him the best of luck going forward.”
Stay tuned to D.M. Fashion Book as this story develops!
Photos Credit: Tremaine Emory’s Instagram via Joshua Woods