Creative director Tremaine Emory opened up about his departure from Supreme, along with the alleged “systemic racism” that he experienced.
In a resignation letter, Emory stated that “systemic racism was at play in the structure of Supreme.” Additionally, Emory raised concerns about a lack of effective communication within senior management and pointed to an alleged terminated collaboration with video artist Arthur Jafa.
The letter claims that Supreme failed to provide comprehensive transparency regarding the reasoning behind the collaboration’s cancellation. This lack of clarity resulted in significant emotional distress. Additionally, it also raised suspicions that racism might have been a reason for the disagreement.
Nevertheless, Supreme issued a statement refuting Emory’s claim of the Jafa project being canceled and challenged his allegations.
“We strongly disagree with Tremaine’s characterisation of our company… This was the first time in 30 years where the company brought in a creative director,” the statement read. “We are disappointed it did not work out with Tremaine and wish him the best of luck going forward.”
Shortly after, Emory began sharing what he alleged to be text messages with Supreme employees. He claims that he made a vigorous effort to achieve a collaborative statement about his departure. In another post, Emory characterized Supreme’s statement regarding his resignation as “a lie to hide the systemic racism that lies deep within supreme and almost all white Owned corporations.”
“I wanted to work with supreme to change these things,” he wrote. “And instead I told I was racially charged, emotional, and using the wrong forum by bring[ing] up systemic racism in a meeting when I was asked if we should work with a black female artist whilst this [Jafa] project was secretly shutdown without anyone talking to me.”