According to sources, the New York-based cult streetwear brand, after months of location scouting, has finally kicked off renovation works on a space in the city’s central Corso Garibaldi to transform it into the brand’s first outpost in Italy.
The rumor about a possible Supreme opening in Milan had been circulating for almost a year, but a real estate source confirmed to WWD that the American brand has finally signed a lease. The store might be ready to open in the fall.
Supreme was not reachable for comment.
The brand, which in 2017 sold a 50 percent stake to private equity giant Carlyle for $500 million, has been at the center of a trademark dispute in Italy over the past few years.
In late 2018, during the launch event for Samsung’s Galaxy A8s smartphone, the tech giant revealed it was collaborating with Supreme. It soon turned out this was a tie-up with a company operating under the Supreme Italia moniker and using the same signature box logo the American brand is known for.
The news made headlines, Samsung canceled the collaboration with Supreme Italia, and the legal battle between the latter and New York’s Supreme came into the spotlight.
Litigation between Supreme’s parent Chapter 4 and the two entities behind Supreme Italia, such as Italy-based Trade Direct Srl, which produced and sold the clothes online and in shops under license, and the U.K.-based private limited company International Brand Firm Ltd., or IBF, actually started in 2017, when Chapter 4 first sued them. Both entities are ascribable to Michele Di Pierro, an entrepreneur from Bisceglie, Italy.
The high court in Milan ruled in favor of Chapter 4 twice, in January and April 2017, forcing Supreme Italia to desist from producing, exporting and selling clothes bearing the Supreme box logo, citing counterfeiting and unfair parasitic competition, according to the April courthouse ruling seen by WWD. The ruling also claimed that Chapter 4 had filed for a trademark with the Italian Patent and Trademark Office on Oct. 9, 2015, more than a month prior to IBF’s filing on Nov. 18, 2015.
In 2019, Italy’s Corte di Cassazione, the country’s equivalent of the Supreme Court, also ruled in favor of New York’s Supreme upholding past rulings, in particular confirming the legitimacy of the seizure of counterfeit goods for a total amount of 10 million euros sold by IBF under the Supreme Italia and Supreme Spain monikers.
Last year, Chapter 4 also won an appeal with the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office, which recognized Supreme’s brand as distinct and eligible to pursue an EU trademark.