Report: Tremaine Emory Cites Alleged ‘Systematic Racism’ in Supreme Resignation Letter, Brand Issues Statement

Supreme creative director Tremaine Emory is exiting the streetwear giant after a year and a half.

via: Complex

Business of Fashion reported on Thursday that it had seen a copy of the letter, news of which follows Complex first reporting that Emory was exiting his creative director role at the label.

Per BoF, Emory’s exit—which is now confirmed by Supreme, the new report states—was spurred by what the Denim Tears founder described as senior management’s “inability” to provide “full visibility” on the reasons behind the alleged cancelation of a pending collab with artist Arthur Jafa.

“This caused me a great amount of distress as well as the belief that systematic racism was at play within the structure of Supreme,” Emory is reported to have said in his resignation letter.

In a statement provided to the outlet, Supreme said that it “strongly” disagrees with “Tremaine’s characterization” of both the company itself and the Arthur Jafa collab. The latter, the brand claimed, “has not been canceled.” The statement also saw the brand noting that this was its first time bringing in a creative director.

“We are disappointed it did not work out with Tremaine and wish him the best of luck going forward,” Supreme added.

Neither Supreme nor Tremaine Emory have publicly commented on the situation. Complex has reached out to Supreme for additional comment on the latest development. This story may be updated.

Earlier this week, Complex, citing sources, first reported that Supreme’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection would be the final one under Emory. At the time, a reason for the creative director’s exit was not known.

Emory first stepped into the Supreme role in February 2022. Later that year, the prolific designer spoke with Complex’s Mike DeStefano, connecting his appointment at Supreme to part of a larger artistic journey made possible by the late Virgil Abloh.

“Louis V wasn’t the whole thing. It was a step on the chessboard,” he said at the time when asked about who would follow Abloh at Louis Vuitton (That role eventually went to Pharrell Williams). “The sun roof is off. We used Louis. We use these things as leverage to push through. For example, the sun roof off the Trojan horse is me getting a job at Supreme. Me and my job at Supreme doesn’t happen if the watershed moment with Virgil doesn’t happen in 2018. I don’t care how talented or good I am.”

As for whether Supreme will be bringing in a new creative director in the wake of Emory’s exit, no official statements have been made.

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