Samsung has partnered with a “legal fake” Supreme fashion brand for an upcoming collaborative project.
The South Korean company is seeing backlash for announcing that it would be collaborating with Supreme. It turns out, Samsung isn’t talking about that Supreme — it’s talking about a rip-off brand based in Italy.
But that didn’t stop Samsung from rushing onstage to excitedly announce the collaboration, The Verge reported.
“Youth these days want to show their uniqueness in style … to show off style, we have two brands that begin with S,” said Samsung marketing head Feng En, gesturing to Samsung and Supreme logos behind him.
For context, Supreme is a massively popular fashion brand based in New York City. It’s known for its limited-run products that are adorned with the company’s iconic box logo.
The fake Italian Supreme has no affiliation with the NYC fashion brand, but exists in a weird gray area. When the U.S. Supreme tried to close down the off-brand, local courts sided with the Italian firm. That has allowed it to sell so-called “legal fake” items that, on first glance, are hard to tell from the real ones.
Reportedly, the off-brand Italian Supreme has plans to launch brick-and-mortar stores in China starting next year. Samsung will apparently be part of that retail launch, although it isn’t clear exactly what type of “Samsung x Fake Supreme” products will be released.
In response to the announcement, Supreme US wrote in a statement to Hypebeast that claims it is collaborating with Samsung are “blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization.”
Later, Samsung China’s digital marketing manager, Leo Lau, tried to clear things.
“The brand we are collaborating with is Supreme Italia, not Supreme US,” Lau wrote on Weibo. “Supreme US doesn’t have the authorization to sell and market in China. Whereas the Italian brand got the APAC (except Japan) product retail and marketing authorization.”
Of course, it may make a weird sort of sense that Samsung is collaborating with a brand that blatantly copied another brand. Either way, the South Korean tech giant seems pretty shameless about the whole affair.