Interview by: Caroline McCloskey
Photo by: Robert Maxwell
This might be the oddest couple to be on the pages of GQ Magazine thus far. One is a polymath who mingled with Andy Warhol and coined the term “Editor-at-Large”. The other a masterful prankster with lyrics, rhymes, and a following that would put fans of The Hunger Games to shame. Yet, here there were, Glenn O’Brien, aka The Style Guy, and Tyler, The Creator, on the same page of April 2012 issue to share their takes on the most-talked about fashion label on Lafayette Street – Supreme.
Laden with insights, obscenities, and humor, the brief interview by GQ’s Caroline McCloskey gives people some comprehension on “the cult that is Supreme“. Read excerpt of the interview, video of the photo session after the jump, or visit the GQ’s site here for the entire conversation.
GQ: How did you guys first become aware of Supreme?
Glenn O’Brien: Supreme is in my neighborhood in New York, so I’d walk by it all the time. I’d see 150 guys standing in line and figured out that’s when they’d have some kind of new sneaker or something in there. I didn’t want to be the old guy walking into Supreme, but then I was walking by one day and they were showing Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party from the ’80s on this big bank of TVs and I thought, Jeez, I guess I can go in there now. So I started going in there and buying shit, and I got to be friends with some of the guys who worked there, I got to know [founder] James Jebbia and the guys in the store.
Tyler, the Creator: We would always skate around the area it’s at [in L.A.]. That was the only store in the area at the time that sold skateboards, so we’d go in there and buy boards, and I just gradually became friends with the guys who were working there. They would always just look out for us, me and my friends, when we were over there and out and about. They were like our big brothers over there and shit, they were older than us. I’m still cool with them to this dayâ€”I was over there yesterday. And over the last year, as I got bigger perhaps or whatever, I would always rap about it, and the guys at the L.A. store would always put a good word in for me with the dudes, the head guys, in New York. I eventually met Jebbia and Angelo [Baque] and all those guys, and we’ve been cool since. They respect me for doing what I do, and I respect them, cause that’s my favorite shit. It’s just cool I can be a part of this family and shit. They show me love, I show them love, they’re awesome, and I’ve always looked up to them.
GQ: One of the interesting things about Supreme is that they’re not gross about branding and marketingâ€”they rely on quality product, word of mouth and a strong visual aesthetic.
Tyler: Visual aesthetic is important to me. I take video directing and designing album art and shit like that very serious, and they do, too. So that’s one thing I like from them, the way they design certain thingsâ€”not too much, not too little.
Glenn: It’s sort of a non-strategy strategy. I think it just comes out having integrity. I don’t think we should be Communists or anything, but they do business in a kind of honorable way that I really respect. And that’s really rare, especially in the clothes business.
Tyler: That’s why I like them, because they don’t fuck with anybody. And I don’t really fuck with anybody. I keep my circle close and they do too, they don’t associate themselves with other brands that they don’t respect or actually like.
GQ: It’s not a brand that bends over backwards to woo you.
Glenn: Which is good, because I’m unwooable….
For the complete interview and addition images, visit GQ or GQ April 2012 Issue