Remixed: Hip hop creates culture you can wear, from streetwear to sneakerheads

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


The promises and perils of digital waitlists

Last week I wrote about the authenticity of long lines, using Supreme and Everlane as contrasting examples. Long lines and limited scarcity are part of Supreme’s DNA, while they are out of place for a basics brand like Everlane. Either way, I noted…


The difference between Supreme and Everlane’s long lines

If you happen to be near a Supreme store on a Thursday around 11am, you’re likely to see hundreds of people waiting in a barricaded line for the latest drop. Just a few blocks away from Supreme, you’ll see a line of one or two dozen people outside…


Should brands leave money on the table—or on the shelf?

Despite its envious position, Supreme is in an interesting conundrum: to keep growing, it either has to keep making more products or raise the prices of existing ones, but doing so will change the sellout characteristics for the brand. This is…


Blazers of Glory — with Jack Carlson of Rowing Blazers

#63. Rowing Blazers brings all the quirks of a blazer to life, quickly growing into a Supreme-meets-Brooks Brothers lifestyle brand. We talk with Founder Jack Carlson, about how the company sprung out of his rowing career and his years-long quest to…


The Exclusive Product and Collab Report

In today’s competitive retail landscape, selling the same products as everyone else—and especially Amazon—puts brands and retailers on the path to self-commoditization: the race to the bottom on price that is bankrupting some companies and seriously…


Why invest in Supreme when its secondary market is more valuable?

This week the Carlyle Group, a big private equity firm, bought a stake in the one-of-a-kind brand Supreme for $500 million, valuing it at over $1 billion, making it the most valuable privately-held streetwear brand. Industry sources…


Building Bulletproof Brands — Part III: How networks and tokens could reshape the economics of physical goods brands

Part I of this series looked at the changing landscape of brand longevity and how the traditional formulas that used to make brands defensible are now obsolete. Part II proposed a new formula that harnesses networks as the only defensible moat…


Building Bulletproof Brands — Part II: Networks are the strongest moats for consumer goods brands

Part I explored how the internet fundamentally changed the playbook for building durable physical goods brands. Before the internet, mastering product, brand, distribution—signified as (product + brand + distribution)—was enough to make a brand…


The Scale Series — Part III: Brands that have endured

In Part II we looked at brands that have overscaled their promise. Now, we'll examine successful fashion brands that have balanced their creative and commercial aspirations over the long term, which allows the strength of a brand to compound.