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Supreme’s James Jebbia is still king of the streetwear ‘drop’

Jebbia is No. 81 on the Recode 100.

It’s a common trope for fashion brands to describe their customer base as a “community” and not just customers. But for New York-based Supreme, it’s really true. You need look no further than the swarm of fans that still line up at the streetwear apparel maker’s shops every time there’s a “drop” of new merchandise — which immediately sells out.

In October, James Jebbia — who founded Supreme in 1994 — announced that The Carlyle Group, the private equity firm, purchased a roughly 50 percent stake in a deal that valued the company at more than $1 billion. With only 11 stores — six in Japan — expansion seems inevitable. But can a growing Supreme stay cool?

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