THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE - Collaborations are not a new practice in fashion. The past decade or so, alone, has brought no small number of what would otherwise be unheard of partnerships. Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel, teamed up with Swedish fast fashion giant, H&M, for a budget-friendly collection. For its Spring/Summer 2017 couture show, Vetements tapped a number of other brands – seventeen to be exact – for one large collaborative collection. Its partners ranged from Juicy Couture and Levi’s to Dr. Martens and Reebok.
In what is slated to be an even more noteworthy collaboration, Louis Vuitton and Supreme have joined forces. The Paris-based luxury brand is collaborating with the New York-based cult skatewear label for its F/W 2017 menswear collection, which will debut during Paris Fashion Week later this month. And because Supreme is not to be outdone, the brand – which draws die-hard fans to its brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce site each week for its product releases – reportedly has another project in the works, one with arguably the most random entity of all: New York Metro Transit Authority (“MTA”).
According to a number of sources, Supreme is slated to launch its own branded MTA cards for S/S 2017. Among Supreme's impending S/S 2017 accessories – whose descriptions were “accidentally” leaked on the brand's website this weekend – Mechanix® Collab Gloves, Wireless Headphones, Puzzle, Towel, and MTA Metro Card w/ Fare (or two fares, to be exact). Garments will include "Schott® Jacket with '666' pin, Printed Leather Jacket, Bones Sweater, Micro Stripe Cardigan, Sleeve Stripe Sweater, and Alpine Sweater." Also in the mix: garments bearing Mariltn Monroe imagery.
But about that MetroCard ... such a partnership would not be completely unheard of - at least not for MTA. The New York public transit entity has teamed up with brands, including Gap, the Mets baseball team, Super Bowl XLVIII, and J.C. Penney, among others, in the past. In fact, MTA enables any brand (that can afford it) to advertise on the front and/or back of their cards - subject, of course, to MTA's approval. According to MTA, it costs $25,500 to have a logo printed on the back of 50,000 cards and $210,000 for 1 million cards. To print a logo on the front and back of 50,000 cards, that will cost a brand $112,500.
As for Supreme, considering that the brand recently released an actual brick with its logo on it (which subsequently sold out), nothing is off-limits on their end. As Dazed noted in connection with the Supreme bricks: "It is this that makes Supreme special, not just its ability to apparently be able to sell anything, but to be able to agitate, inspire debate, court derision and, ultimately, embrace elusiveness with such effortlessness." With this in mind, the MTA card makes a lot of sense, and at the end of the day, it's useful.
If this is, in fact, the real deal, the MTA cards could drop as soon as this month. Stay tuned.
UPDATED (2/12/17): According to a video posted on Supreme's Instagram account on Sunday and a preview posted to its site, it appears as though the collab that we exclusively reported on last month is, in fact, official. The cards - and other S/S17 goods - will be available for sale on February 23 and at select MTA kiosks beginning on February 20.