A closely held secret of skate kids and streetwear aficionados everywhere, it was insider-famous for its Barbara Kruger-esque, tabloid-happy red and white logo, its ability to synthesize all sorts of cultural references in a hoodie and its hotly anticipated random product drops.
That was 2012. In 2014, the company accepted its first private equity investment, from Goode Partners. In 2017, it sold another 50 percent to the Carlyle Group, the P.E. megalith.
And this week it announced that VF Corporation, the owner of 19 brands, including Timberland, Vans and the North Face and with reported 2020 revenues of $10.5 billion, had bought the whole thing. The deal valued Supreme at more than $2.1 billion and completed its path from indie darling to the heart of the establishment.
VF understands that the brand has to stay cool to survive, and cool and quarterly results don’t really mix in the corporate world, VF said it was going to leave the brand alone. The leadership, including Mr. Jebbia, would stay in charge; its headquarters would remain in New York.