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A new book unpacks Supreme’s most niche references

IG’s @supremecopies has compiled their archives of the brand’s inspirations into a newly-released publication

Since launching in 2016, the faceless founder behind IG’s @supremecopies account has been dedicated to documenting Supreme’s influences, references, and cheeky visual thefts. Part of Supreme’s appeal is its ‘borrowing’ practices, which pick over everything from vintage fashion to fine art, and from niche subcultures’ visuals to those of seminal graphic designers. Take, for example, the Fauvist style of Georges Braque that @supremecopies identified on a hoodie earlier this year, or the fan apparel roots of the AW17 Scarface jacket that the Insta explored in detail.

It’s @supremecopies’ documentation of these references that the Instagram’s owner has now compiled into a book entitled, appropriately, ‘Supreme Copies: The Book’. The 120-page catalogue has been a long time in the making. “It’s been an idea since two months after I started the page,” the @supremecopies’ founder says. “It didn’t fully start to come to fruition until this last year.”

Putting the book together also proved to be something of a challenge, mostly due to the relative novelty of an Instagram’s book-ification and its publishing process. “Apart from actually making and producing a book that has no real guidelines and not a lot of comparable projects, dealing with the publishing company and all their weird little requirements was the biggest challenge,” the anonymous founder says.

The book will obviously appeal to the Instagram’s attentive audience (which has surpassed 80k in the couple of years the account has been around), but fandom isn’t a necessary requirement. Their coverage of the drama that sometimes stems from Supreme’s appropriations – cease and desist orders abound – are enough to keep anyone interested, and are explored pretty thoroughly. 

But why a book, when there’s a whole Insta archive waiting to be browsed? “I wanted to release these findings in a medium that can’t ever be deleted or hacked,” he explains. Smart. Besides, the @supremecopies founder adds, there will be exclusive stuff in there too: “A lot of new, unseen pics that are gonna be hard to find anywhere else. A few pieces that have never made their way on the page. And of course tons of information on whatever it was that Supreme decided to reference”.

Supreme Copies: The Book is out now.