Monday, May 3, 2010

Preface by Aaron Bondaroff

I can dig this. ->

When Supreme opened in '94, New York had a style of skating like no other.
It wasn't your ordinary dudefest. Matter of fact, it was no dudes allowed.
These skaters were your train-hopping, taxicab-jumping, runaway kids-
born and raisedi nthe city.

Kids from every borough and background bombed down hills, crossed bridges
and ferries to session the urban paradise. All these travelers and street
athletes met each other at the Downtown famous skate spots. Everybody
would be checking each other out, snaking each other on lines for skate spots.
Some beefed, some fought, but all had a common bond- they were NY skate
survivors. The best of the best of these broughs became friends and joined
forces to create an all-star crew of bad boys: the ultimate gang. This gang
was called Supreme. Even though the shop was James' baby business at
the time, it also housed his army with authentic style, who adoped the brand and
helped create its identity. Supreme didn't just cater to the NY street skater, it
was and continues to be the last social club standing in Little Italy.

While kids my age were in high school, I was dropped out and graduated from
a skate shop. I was lucky at the time because it was kind of a shut-door policy
and I was younger than most of them. But I got the green light; I slid in. It
wasn't easy in the beginning, even if you worked for the company it didn't
mean you were accepted automatically. There used to be a lamppost outside
across the street. One thing a member had to do was get a pair of sneakers
up there. It meant you were up in the sky and untouchable.

Supreme was so epic and major: race wasn't an issue, money wasn't an issue,
we were all one color and that color was character. Some of us worked at the
shop, some of us hung at the shop, and some of us lived at the shop. Stories
and tricks and styles passed on from one to another. The lingo was coming
from so many different places in the city you couldn't tell where a person was
from. We all traded slang and jokes to create a language of our own. I still
speak fucked-up from those days.

This social club wasn't so inviting, though, and had a lot of attitude. We made
the rules and ran a business that was very successful. People were addicted
to the clothes like a drug. Wed didn't want to work too hard so we developed
a sales style that worked in our favor. In the early days it was like, come
in, don't touch; you can look with your eyes but not with your hands. It was
a crazy way to sell garments but the customer learned the deal: don't fuck
with us and we won't fuck with you. The T-shirts were folded so tightly it
was like at and if a customer touched the display the staff barked at the,
fuck you. All the while the skate team and crew just hanging- pretty heavy
for an outsider.

We really created a fucked-up shopping experience, but some people liked the
abuse because they would come back for it every day. Long days at the shop, and
nights were even longer. Lafayette was our home: we skated in crowds, played
soccer in traffic, and whiffle-ball games in Jersey Alley. We never left the block.

This is a piece of history of my life but the legacy still moves forward. In
a time of fast-lived fame and not-so-original styles, Supreme still represents
the core city dweller. As brands and shops rise and fall, and as the
cityscape changes daily, Supreme remains the living, bearthing home of authentic New York.

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