Gladys Santiago

SUPNY: Drawing Inspiration from an Icon

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fashion by Gladys Santiago on September 26, 2010

SUPNY sticker in Noho

For its Fall/Winter 2010 collection, Supreme released a line of hoodies which are undoubtedly inspired by the iconic DKNY mural that once graced the corner of Houston and Broadway.  The famed mural, which was painted in 1992, proudly displayed the New York City skyline along with the Statue of Liberty in the foreground. While many considered the mural a glorified billboard, after the September 11th attacks it gained greater significance because it featured the World Trade Center towers in the distance.  In June 2009, the mural was painted over with a gross ad for Hollister, signifying Soho’s transformation into a suburban shopping mall.

I’ve noticed stickers baring “SUPNY” all over Soho and originally thought the stickers were the calling card of a local street artist.  I’ve seen artists such as Dickchicken utilize corporate branding in their work.  I’m sure any native/long-time New Yorker is automatically reminded of DKNY when they see the SUPNY stickers.  Supreme drew inspiration from that iconic mural that once captured New York before 9/11, gentrification and commercialization dulled the city’s edge.  Although Supreme replaced the DKNY letters, it still shares the stage with the fashion label, which is perhaps what the retailer intended.  After all, the DKNY mural went beyond branding–it became a cultural icon.