NEW YORK — Supreme’s longtime brand director Angelo Baque has left the streetwear firm.
Baque has launched his own creative agency, Baque Creative, and will continue to consult for Supreme. He said he has not been replaced.
According to Baque, who has been working on his agency since late last year, Supreme is one of his clients and he will still oversee the overall art direction for the brand — including look book and editorial visuals — and offer his opinions about collections.
Baque, through his own creative agency, also works with Nike NSW and Converse.
“I spent 10 years with the brand and I’ve changed a lot in those 10 years,” said Baque, who met James Jebbia, Supreme’s owner and founder, when he was a store associate at Stüssy. “When I started with Supreme, I didn’t know what the hell I was going to do. There was no title and it was just wide open. The company was so small back then. It was 2006 and I was able to figure it out and see where I fit in. I have a photo background and I felt like I could help the brand and bring a new perspective to the visuals.”
Baque noted Supreme has transformed over the past decade in terms of visibility.
“With the actual garments, nothing has changed because the objective of Supreme has always been to make cool s—,” said Baque. “Our muses are the same and they have always been skaters. What’s different is that 10 years ago, you had to be in the know and now you can hang out below 14th Street and you know what Supreme is. But you are never going to be able to go into Macy’s, Zumiez or Bloomingdale’s and buy the brand.”
Supreme recently collaborated with Louis Vuitton on an extensive line of cobranded products, unveiled last month at its men’s show. The collection, which will be released in July, has riled up excitement and contention, which Baque said is par for the course.
“People are always going to hate. If you aren’t getting hated on, you aren’t doing it right,” said Baque. “Ten years ago people told me Supreme sold out. That will never change. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
Some critics have had issues with the pricing, which Baque said is fair.
“Supreme knows there is nothing that the brand is ashamed of making because ultimately no corners were cut in order to make that product. You are still going to get what you paid for and a lot of kids don’t understand that,” said Baque. “A lot of thought goes into it and that’s why Supreme has lasted so long. Now the fashion world has come to us. It used to be straight copy or inspiration, now it’s the other way around, whether it’s Vetements, Off-White or Gucci. Gucci is streetwear. They are selling hoodies and denim.”
Baque will also work on expanding his own collection, Awake New York, a line of six-panel caps he introduced in 2013.
“I will grow it little by little, but the beauty of doing Awake is I can kind of do it when I feel like doing it,” said Baque. “I’m in no rush to sell it in many places. In the past you feel these pressures to make certain items for certain accounts and the next thing you know you are making a leather trench for a store in Japan. I want to make something when I have something to say, not for the sake of selling clothes.”