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Tremaine Emory Alleges Systematic Racism From Streetwear Brand Supreme

Systematic racism accusations have caused creative director Tremaine Emory to leave the streetwear brand, according to The Cut.

Tremaine Emory
Photo Credit: Instagram - @TremaineEmory

According to a resignation letter obtained by the Business of Fashion, Emory cited senior management’s “inability to communicate” in regards to the alleged cancellation of a collaboration with Black artist, filmmaker and cinematographer Arthur Jafa and the “lack of transparency.”

“This has caused me a great amount of distress as well as the belief that systematic racism was at play within the structure of Supreme,” Emery wrote in the letter.

In February of 2022, Emory was hired as Supreme’s creative director in the “Brand’s first high-profile appointment since it was acquired by VF Corp for $2.1 billion in 2020. Supreme’s spring-summer 2023 line was, in fact, the first collection under Emory’s direction. And previews from it’s upcoming fall-winter line, which was Emory’s last, have been celebrated by fans. Complex called it Supreme’s “best season in years.”

Emory, who has worked with Ye and Virgil Abloh, is also the founder of the Denim Tears, which conveys stories of the African diaspora through clothing.

Meanwhile, Jafa frequently explores Blackness in America through film, with his most notable in 2016, Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death, which relays a century’s worth of collaged footage, showing Black resilience as well as the ongoing violence against the community wrapped up into a seven-minute montage.

In response, Supreme had a major pushback on all of Emory’s allegations in a statement in the Business of Fashion, saying that the brand disagrees with his “characterization of our company and the handling of the Arthur Jafa project,” which it claims has not been canceled. Emory in response to the statement in an Instagram post on Friday, said the following: it's “a lie to hide the systemic racism that lies deep within Supreme and almost all white-owned corporations.”

Adding that he’d initially hoped to work with the brand for change, Emory said he was instead “told I was racially charged, emotional, and using the wrong forum by bringing up systemic racism in a meeting where I was asked if we should work with a Black female artist while this Jafa project was secretly shut down without anyone talking to me.” In the wake of his resignation, Emory brought up a conversation he had with Supreme’s founder, businessman James Jebbia, and said Jebbia “agreed with all” of his points and said he would “change Supreme … he’s gotta stand on what he said to me.”

1 comentário

Kay Mcleod
Kay Mcleod
24 de set. de 2023

Lord. what a look.

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