|“Supreme is a company that refuses to sell out,”|
But New York held a firm grip on his imagination, so after a visit in 1983 to his father, then living in West Virginia, he moved to Staten Island, into a $500-a-month apartment. Over the next six years, he worked his way up at Parachute, the ’80s minimalist clothing store in SoHo, and sold fashionable backpacks and vintage clothes at a flea market on Spring Street.
Eventually he scraped up enough money to open his own shop, Union, on Spring Street, which specialized in British labels like the Duffer of St. George and Fred Perry, as well as Stüssy, the California skate-wear line. That led to a partnership with Shawn Stussy in the cultish Stüssy boutique on Prince Street, which could be seen as a progenitor of Supreme.
When Mr. Stussy cashed out, Mr. Jebbia, never a skater himself, opened a skate shop of his own, on a then-forlorn stretch of Lafayette.
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“But New York in general was like that.”