One of the most recognizable streetwear brands of the moment makes its Windy City debut with the opening of a hot new shop in Wicker Park.
Artist Rita Ackermann’s massive mural commands the eyes upon entry.
When rumors began to surface on social media that Supreme was opening a store in Chicago, longtime fans of the brand were equally excited and skeptical due to its notorious exclusivity. One of the earliest brands to capitalize on hype culture and one of the first to release collections in limited-edition “drops,” which typically sell out within minutes, the streetwear and skate label is thrillingly low-key—and that’s what makes it so enticing.
A full-wall LED screen sits at the back of the store.
There are only 15 Supreme stores around the globe (five are in the U.S.). Before, fans of the brand who don’t live in New York or California retreated to third-party resale sites and consignment stores to try to get their hands on a tee donning the classic box logo, or one of the more out-of-the-box items like a Supreme fire hydrant or boxing gloves, and even then, the markup is extraordinary. So news of the big-name brand finally being closer to home is big. The rumors proved to be true, and Supreme’s fifth U.S. shop sits at the corner of Milwaukee and Evergreen avenues in Wicker Park. To some, the selection of that location may seem odd—for a brand with global appeal, why not set up shop in a retail hub like the Mag Mile? But really, it makes perfect sense for Supreme to claim that prime corner in Wicker Park.
Supreme Chicago’s facade
What’s made Supreme skyrocket to success since its inception in 1994 as a hub for Manhattan’s skate scene is its authenticity and sustained relationship with the communities in which it touches down. Wicker Park is a neighborhood rich with the very culture Supreme celebrates, and that was quite clear when the local skate, fashion and art community showed up in their flyest fits—skateboards in hand, of course—to celebrate the store’s opening.
Mark Gonzales’ “Schminx” sculpture welcomes guests.
Inside the 1,800-square-foot space, the art is just as curated as the hats, shirts, jackets and skate decks that line the racks. Longtime collaborator and friend of the brand skater/artist Mark Gonzales’ massive “Schminx” sculpture, finished in metallic gold with a handpainted face, sits at the front of the shop. Just behind it, a mural by fine artist Rita Ackermann covers the north-facing wall while a delicate mosaic of the brand’s logo by artist SLUTO hangs across the way.
Tees, hats, sweatshirts and more hang below SLUTO’s tile mosaic.
Details that nod to the city’s skate scene, like a pair of benches that look like they’re pulled straight from Federal Plaza and a film featuring local skaters shredding by iconic Windy City locales like the “Flamingo” sculpture in the Federal Plaza and under the L displayed on a full-wall LED monitor, proclaim that Supreme has quietly and precisely been plotting to take the city by storm—and it’s certainly made all the right moves. 1438 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Photography by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRAND