Streetwear and Supreme go way back. Unlike the wave of printed T-shirts and track pants today parked under the umbrella of “streetwear“, Supreme’s beginnings are well, quite literally born of the streets. Founded in 1994 by James Jebbia, its wares were the stuff of cool kids searching for dope threads beyond the luxury big wigs. Kids who would also purchase a Supreme deck to skate with, not hang on their walls as trophies from the season’s latest drop.
Two decades and one very hyped Louis Vuitton tie-up later, a global phenomenon. Box logo T-shirts exchange hands at more than five times their retail price, collaboration sneakers the fashion girl’s new badge of honour, and bricks, kayaks, and newspapers slapped with the Supreme branding classed as collectibles — igniting mass purchasing frenzies both online and offline.
In short, Supreme isn’t just a brand one casually shops at now. It’s a sport — and we tell you how to play.
What: When the streetwear-obsessed proclaim that hype gear are the new stocks, they certainly weren’t kidding. StockX, like its name suggests, is a stock exchange for a handful of curated brands like Supreme, Palace, Bape and Nike.
How it works: It connects sellers to buyers, without both parties ever having to come into contact — eliminating the fuss of communication for both sides, something you’ll face on other traditional buy-and-sell platforms like eBay and Carousell. Each seller lists their item for an asking price, and the buyers, bid. It includes a ‘Buy It Now’ option available for those who are bent on scoring a purchase immediately. The prices of past sales for every item in every size are disclosed, in interest of fully informing the diligent buyer who’d want to do his or her homework before putting in a bid. Pro tip: analyse the transaction patterns, and you’ll potentially benefit by making smart purchases under market price in time to come.
Pros: Only brand new products are sold on StockX, and from the moment your bid is accepted, everything else is taken care of by them. The seller will ship to StockX which then authenticates the item before sending it on to you.
Cons: With the popularity of the platform, the prices of certain items are sometimes over inflated due to high demand, plus its flat fee of US$40 shipping regardless if you’ve purchased a pair of shoes or a Supreme hair tie, is on the steep side. This brings us to…
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What: A buy-and-sell platform for streetwear and luxury designer labels. While Grailed hosts a much larger stable of brand names as compared to StockX, truth is that there’s a small crop that’s exceptionally popular with its users. This means as a buyer, you’ll have a wider range to shop from if you’re into these brands. Supreme is one of them, along with Chrome Hearts, Palace, Saint Laurent and Raf Simons to name but a few.
How it works: As with most traditional buy-and-sell platforms, you’ll be in touch with the seller from start to finish. The seller of course lists a price, but you’ll be able to send in an offer asides from purchasing at the asking price right off the bat. Authentication of items is up to your discretion, and most of the time, many would rely on a seller’s ratings and reviews to inform their decision to purchase.
Pros: Shipping isn’t as exorbitant most of the time, and if you dig hard enough, you might be able to score a better deal for some items than you would on StockX.
Cons: If you encounter any bogus sellers and don’t receive your purchase (or, receive fake goods), you’ll have to request a refund via PayPal as it is the site’s main mode of payment. What Grailed will do is to get in touch with the seller to mediate the situation.
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3. Stadium Goods
What: Modelled after a traditional e-retail site, Stadium Goods is the one that gives buyers the least flexibility of all. The price you see is the price you’ll have to pay — no negotiations. It retails Supreme, Palace, Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Kaws and Medicom Toys.
How it works: Put the item you want into your cart and check out. Well, at least its fuss-free.
Pros: Stadium Goods authenticates all items like StockX, so there’s no worry of receiving a dud.
Cons: Shipping is on the high side (roughly US$60).
Shop Stadium Goods.
Main images: Instagram (@stockx, @stadiumgoods)