Anyone who knows downtown New York knows the line: a trail of youngish men winding around the corner of Lafayette and Prince in SoHo every Thursday. This is the day that new inventory becomes available at the Supreme flagship store’s weekly drop. Though the store doesn’t open until 11am, hopeful patrons arrive much earlier. Depending on the temptations of the particular release and whether it marks a collection debut, some may have even waited overnight. Some are buying to wear, some are buying to sell and others are being paid just to queue. To manage the crowds and their intrusion into public space, Supreme has tried issuing timed tickets for individual customers to show up and shop, not unlike those for a popular exhibition at the MoMA or the Whitney. But these also stoke the frenzy. Two years ago, Supreme circulated a ticket sign-up location via email for customers interested in the drop of a hoodie with their signature “box logo”; the meet up at James J. Walker Park in the West Village was terminated by the NYPD when a group of hysterical shoppers-to-be went ballistic and hurled themselves through the line. Footage of the event flooded Instagram, with captions like: “This shit look like people evacuating a zombie infested island, fuck that.”

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