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Supreme’s shoe collaboration with Nike provokes a ‘riot’

Supreme know that demand should outstrip supply – most of the clothes and accessories that they produce come only in limited editions. Founded by James Jebbia 20 years ago, the brand remains right at the top of the streetwear game and queues regularly form outside their Manhattan store. But even they must have been surprised when their latest footwear collaboration with Nike led to such a big crowd this week that the police felt the need to disperse it due to safety concerns. One member of the crowd – which began to form on Monday, though the shoes weren’t released until Thursday – described the scene as “like a war zone” to the New York Post. Mace and batons were reportedly used by the NYPD.

The crowd outside Supreme's New York store this week.
The crowd outside Supreme’s New York store this week. Photograph: Bebeto Matthewsa

The shoes at the centre of this chaos are the Nike Air Foamposite – a high-top style, with moldings on the sole, originally launched in 1997. Supreme being Supreme, the trainers aren’t exactly shy and retiring – they come in red or black with a gold ornate pattern and look not unlike Versace scarf prints of the 80s. Sold only online after the store shutdown, the $250 (£150) trainers are already on their way to becoming a streetwear holy grail. They’re on eBay for three times their original cost, and prices will inevitably rise with time, adding to the Supreme myth.

• This article was updated on 4 April. The article originally stated that Supreme was founded by three friends. It also stated that the Foamposite trainers were released on Wednesday. These mistakes have been corrected.

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