Supreme founder James Jebbia accepted the 2018 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award Monday night, an honor typically bestowed to high-fashion luminaries, not streetwear staples.
Past winners of the award include Tom Ford in 2015, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville for Rag & Bone in 2010, and Thom Browne in 2013 and 2016.
Matt Powell, senior industry adviser for sports for The NPD Group Inc., believes the fact that the legendary brand — born of skating — took home the honor is indicative of who really is in control of trend cycles.
“The consumer is totally in charge when it comes to fashion. Brands no longer control the fashion conversation. This fashion award for a streetwear brand is a manifestation of the shift,” Powell explained to FN.
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While Jebbia and Supreme won this year, this isn’t the first time a beloved streetwear label has taken home the award. In 2014, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School were recipients, besting David Neville and Marcus Wainwright for Rag & Bone and Thom Browne.
Other past winners have also ventured into the street-ready marketplace, specifically with kicks that today’s collectors love, such as Raf Simons (2017). The Belgian fashion designer won sneaker fans over with looks including his bold Ozweego styles with Adidas and his less aggressive takes on the brand’s classic Stan Smith sneaker.
Supreme’s latest collab is with The North Face, a spring ’18 lineup that boasts a taped seam coaches jacket and pant, a day pack and flyweight duffle bag, the Stormbreak 3 tent and more.
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