Tremaine Emory has given us some context into why he has stepped down from Supreme, he alleges that “systemic racism” was the leading factor that led to his departure. The Denim Tears designer was appointed to be the creative director at Supreme in February 2022, and it was recently reported by Complex that he was stepping down after only a little over a year of being in the role.
On Thursday, August 31st Emory posted a series of grid posts on Instagram calling out the systemic racism that he and other fellow Black employees at Supreme were experiencing, even citing one Black employee left before he did “partially because of his treatment due to systemic issues by the Supreme.” Another post included a picture of the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo to give context for those who do not understand the depths of systemic racism.
In another post, he shared a series of text screenshots of texts with someone named Kyle Demer, a C-Suite Supreme team member, that left Emory “hanging,” as he said on what statement he could release about his resignation from Supreme. He had sent multiple messages to this person with screenshots of Complex reaching out for a statement but the person he messaged replied with a plan to call him only to never call, according to Emory. It appears the Denim Tears founder wanted to release a statement honestly citing his reasoning as being because of systematic racism and how a collaboration with artist Arthur Jafa was treated with little respect.
In this third post, the former Supreme creative director noted that Supreme’s statement to Business of Fashion was a “lie to hide the systemic racism that lies deep within Supreme,” he wrote. In his latest post are screenshots of text messages between him and a Supreme team member James texting following a conversation on why he left. There was apparently supposed to be a campaign in collaboration with Jafa and the visuals were questionable with an initial idea to have black men depicted as slaves being hung and a free slave pictured with whip lashes on his back. Emory says that the team member James admits that there should have been a conversation with Emory since his role is creative director and he is indeed a Black man who could have consulted on this.
Emory wrote on his Instagram that he wanted to work with Supreme to “change things.” The designer has also asked to work with a Black female artist while the Jafa collaboration project had “secretly shut down” and cites this as the reason why he left Supreme.
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