SPEAKING OUT: Tremaine Emory, the recently named creative director of Supreme, spoke about the barriers he faced at a Paris conference Saturday evening, where he and artist and writer Kandis Williams were the opening speakers at the three-day Kaleidoscope Manifesto festival.
“On my appointment at Supreme, people were so joyous about it,” said the Denim Tears designer, who has consulted over the years for brands and creatives including Stüssy, Kanye West, Asics and Marc Jacobs. “I’ve been doing this work for a long time; why do I mean more to you now than prior to Supreme?” he questioned.
“I’ve been doing advocacy, I’ve been making art, I’ve been doing talks….All I’ve been through, all I’ve fought for, it needed Supreme for you all to say what I’m doing is worthwhile and that Tremaine’s a great creative? Wasn’t I great the day before I was creative director of Supreme?” he said.
“I have to do all this stuff for a perfect storm to happen for me to get this position. Whereas if you look at maybe how Tom Ford became creative director of Gucci back in the ’90s, I don’t know if he had to do all that….The route I’ve taken to get where I’m at, I’ve had to do extraordinary things.”
To a packed audience that had attendees sitting on every spare corner of carpet in the basement conference space, Emory and Williams also addressed the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “I’m more appalled at the surprise, than it being overturned, that’s not surprising to me,” Emory said. “It seems par for the course for the patriarchal system.”
“I’ve been thinking a lot about these power vacuums within ourselves, because I think the real fight and the real surprise is this issue of why we’re still so shocked or surprised,” Williams said.
“We are people still surprised at horrors that happen to women, people of color, basically everyone but the white male that runs the patriarchal system of the world. Why, in 2022, are we still surprised by these things?” continued Emory. “Since the Industrial Revolution, women have been s–tted on, for lack of a better word. Why are people ‘I can’t believe this.’ This is every day, for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.”
Open to the public through Tuesday and free to attend (for events, reservation is mandatory), the event at the Espace Niemeyer, the headquarters of France’s Communist Party, is hosted by Kaleidoscope Magazine and resale platform Goat. It is designed like a real-life manifestation of the magazine founded a decade ago by Alessio Ascari.
It combines art installations, live performances and talks with influential figures on the contemporary creative scene. “It’s going to be this spontaneous community of creative heads in one place,” Ascari explained at the opening. “The idea of Manifesto is to exactly manifest the magazine in real life.”
The evening continued with a performance from Anonymous Club, Shayne Oliver’s most recent venture, a multidisciplinary creative studio that fosters new offers in music, visual art, performance art, creative direction and events. It was followed by a DJ set.
The lineup for Sunday and Monday evenings includes John Glacier, L’Rain and Pigbaby, to take place in the dome-shaped conference room on the ground floor of the venue, kitted out with a special lighting installation for the occasion. On the conference schedule, there is a talk by Shayne Oliver.
Out in the foyer and downstairs, art installations include a sculpture by H.R. Giger, behind the original concept for “Alien,” works from Sterling Ruby and Hajime Sorayama, a video installation featuring the late Lee Scratch Perry and brand installations including Mowalola, a London-based designer who made her Paris runway debut this week. There is also a bookstore, exclusive merchandise — also available on the Goat platform, which is amplifying the event online — and a pop-up Jah Jah café.