Twice a year, the global streetwear juggernaut Supreme releases its official lookbook and photo preview for the forthcoming collection. Reliably, it delivers an array of loudly colored clothes, logo-heavy wares, and bewildering graphics. But each season also brings something new or unexpected: a Honda dirt bike, a Swarovski crystal box logo tee, or a leopard-print version of a mid-century accent chair, maybe. This time around, the unlikely pairing of the season is a collaboration with Speedo, the longtime makers of form-fitting swimwear and other swim-related accessories.
The collaboration includes a silicone swim cap—offered in black and Supreme’s famous vibrant red—and a pair of loudly colored swim goggles. Both items are fine, and quintessentially Supreme in that there is no shortage of the brand’s bold logo. 7/10, solid work, we can all go home.
But there’s one striking omission—a product that would have taken this right to the top of the long list of iconic Supreme collaborations. I am very sorry to report: there is no Supreme x Speedo Speedo. Sadly, Supreme opted out of putting its iconic logo on a pair of the swim brand’s infamous triangle-shaped swim briefs. (Or as they’re known in Speedo’s founding country of Australia, “budgie smugglers.”)
If any brand could have gotten streetwear-obsessed American men to wear a Speedo, it would be Supreme. Is it really that crazy to imagine hypebeasts frolicking in cherry-red, Supreme-adorned Speedos? In some ways, it feels like we are halfway there. As functional style has grown more popular in recent years, well-dressed men have started to embrace shorts in more adventurous cuts and colors. Patagonia’s Baggies and Nike ACG’s hiking shorts—both featuring a slightly daring 5-inch inseam—have become favorites among style-forward men. (And who can forget Tom Brady’s tiny beach shorts?) Perhaps more importantly, in our meme-based economy: could anything set the Internet on fire faster? My money would be on Bad Bunny being the first celebrity to wear them, with Odell Beckham Jr. and Justin Bieber at a close second.
In the chaos that is 2020, a Supreme Speedo would have, at the very least, given us all something to unite around. To adore or to loathe. To meme into infinity. And for a brand that loves an occasional troll, it feels like a missed opportunity. The alternative history is almost too sweet to imagine: young men everywhere, credit cards at the ready, banana hammocks added to carts. There’s always next year.