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Visiting the fake Supreme store in Shanghai
Written by Jin Lee | Published. 2019.08.02 18:46 | Count : 630

Supreme is a famous street brand well-known for its replicas. There are lots of replicas of Supreme in the market due to its scarcity. Supreme only releases small number of items on specific seasons of the year for limited time. This allows only few customers to buy the clothing and other Supreme products. Since replicas are easily available to the customers who cannot buy the authentic ones, it tempts them to purchase the replica. 

The Supreme Shanghai mall is part of Supreme Italia, also known as the legal fake. Since 2015, this fake Supreme has been challenging the original Supreme New York and expanding its stores with replica products. Supreme Shanghai was the most recent and big alternative from Supreme Italia in 2018, the biggest fake store. The Supreme Shanghai contains fake t-shirts and accessories like beanie, cap, bags, hoodies and so forth. I could easily doubt the authenticity of the products by the color and designs on the t-shirt that I have never seen before. However, some of them were high-quality replicas, almost making me think that this one might be an authentic one. 

[Stepping into the fake Supreme Shanghai store. Photo courtesy: Jin Lee]

Inside the store, a Red Supreme hoodie almost tricked me with its fine quality close to that of the original one. It might appear authentic with its size of the box-logo and the color that is close to the real Supreme hoodie. However, it has a little “supreme” white text on its red strings. The text makes it clear that the hooded sweatshirt is fake. No hooded sweatshirt ever released in the history of Supreme has a text on its strings. 

It is an inevitable fact that replicas affect both the original producer and the customer. The original producer can lose his or her potential customers while customers have to spend extra time looking for authentic products. I am more on the “No Replica” side. Replica is something that should be clearly banned and recognizable. On the other hand, some people do not care if the products are fake or not, sticking to the “Replica so What” side. 

Problems due to replicas are discussed widely in the fashion community, and Supreme is not the only one suffering from these problems. 

Shoe brands like Yeezy, Air Jordan, Nike and more are also suffering from replicas in the market. However, it is more of the consumer community who continuously examines the fakes, spots the difference, invents methods for authenticity test, and provides various authentic stores for others. Grailed and StockX are two well-known communities who do these jobs. They are not part of the fashion brands but they still form an authentic market that prevents fakes in their stores. StockX does not approve a selling or buying until the seller’s product is proven real. Grailed has a hidden rule of no replicas, and interestingly the fake retailers have no consumers in the community due to those rules. 

[Authentic retailer community/ market StockX logo.

In addition, Youtubers, Instagram, and Facebook users who have past experience with fakes share the methods on various social media to prevent consumers from buying fake products. One fashion Instagram user started a real or fake challenge, training the ability to tell authenticity of products out in the market. He recently started a YouTube video going over what makes the replica fake. 

Replica is a serious problem. Supreme Shanghai store is an unauthorized store constructed without permission. Shoe replicas are improving and the difference between the original one and a replica is becoming hard to recognize. Although communities like StockX and Grailed are working with their best to improve, it is not easy. What should we do to stop replicas?


Jin Lee
Western Reserve Academy

Jin Lee  student_reporter@dherald.com

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