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Supreme creative director Tremaine Emory officially exits

By Rachel Douglass


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Tremaine Emory. Credits: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Tremaine Emory, the creative director of streetwear label Supreme, has officially departed from the top position after accusing the company of “systemic racism”.

His exit from the American clothing label comes just over a year on from when he was initially appointed after he stepped into the role during February 2022.

Emory confirmed the move in a letter of resignation, acquired and reported on by Business of Fashion, where he claimed that the alleged racism had been built into the structure of Supreme.

The creative’s letter further raised questions of senior management’s “inability to communicate” with him after the cancellation of a planned collaboration with artist Arthur Jaffa.

Emory noted that the accused individuals were not able to provide “full visibility for the reasons behind it”, causing “a great amount of distress as well as the belief that systemic racism was at play within the structure of Supreme”.

Supreme disputes racism allegations

Following the announcement of Emory’s departure, Supreme issued a statement to the media, in which it said: "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.

"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.”

Emory was appointed to the role as creative director shortly after Supreme was acquired in a 2.1 billion dollar deal by VF Corporation in 2020.

Prior to his onboarding, Emory also founded Denim Tears and had advised an array of creatives, including Kanye West and Virgil Abloh, as well as brands such as Nike, New Balance and Off-White.

Supreme itself has also garnered a cult status since the opening of its first store in 1994, and has become known for its successful drop model with limited edition collaborations and well-timed capsule ranges.

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