Michele di Pierro thinks he is doing nothing wrong, says his business makes fashion more accessible to young people.
Supreme is a highly sought-after brand, which over the year, has cultivated a cult-like following from teens all over the world who are attracted by the thought of being able to sport hard-to-get looks. As you know, Supreme pieces are quite the bank breakers, and on top of that, the brand is known to keep their products scarce, adding to the element of exclusivity for those who are able to get their hands on some of their pieces. But now, an Italian businessman has come forward to flood the market with T-shirts and hoodies which bear the iconic, bright red-and-white Supreme logo, and has even named his counterfeit brand Supreme Italia.
Michele di Pierro started the rogue version of the brand in Europe, and has since filed trademarks for variations of the Supreme logo in dozens of countries as of 2015, forcing the U.S. company to enter into a legal battle with him in court. After opening up its second store in Shanghai earlier this year and losing its trademark registrations in China, di Pierro, finally speaks up about his controversial brand. He sits down with The Wall Street Journal, to explain that he sees nothing wrong with the practices of him and his brand. “Our success is not based on the box logo. It’s the quality.” He continues his justification by detailing how Supreme Italia is actually just trying to make fashion more accessible to young people by selling more affordable variations, and using lightweight fabrics. Supreme founder James Jebbia doesn't seem to think this justification is enough though, and has described Supreme Italia’s behavior as “a whole new level with this criminal enterprise” and has labeled it a “counterfeit organization.”
Throughout the interview, di Pierro also alleges that he was completely unaware that Supreme even existed before starting his venture. “When I filed for registration in Italy, I did it in good faith. I didn’t know it even existed. It wasn’t popular in Italy. There wasn’t even a store.” Documents obtained by the WSJ however, reveal that di Pierro was previously convicted of fraud when his prior sportswear business went bankrupt, meaning this is not the first time the Businessman dabbles in such risky operations.