James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme, has been making money off of skateboarders and streetwear kids for almost 20 years now. But The New Yorker has unearthed a man who’s been making money off him. He gives his name as simply Peter, but he’s the owner of Unique Hype Collection, an underground store off Elizabeth Street in Chinatown that specializes in flipping sold out Supreme gear. Peter’s take each year? Seven figures since Supreme went mainstream two years ago.
How does it work? “Some of the people standing in the Supreme line are secretly Peter’s employees, mostly teen-agers whom he recruits for the line-standing job while they mill around in his collectible-card store. ‘Everybody has a price,” he notes. ‘Sometimes it’s only fifty dollars.’ The usual rate is a hundred dollars per day of waiting in line. There’s no bonus for inclement weather. He hires between ten and thirty people to stand in line each time Supreme releases clothing, which is generally every Thursday. How do the kids know what to buy? ‘They know what to buy cuz they been working for me for quite some time lol,’ Peter explains via text message.”
Though Unique Hype Collection is the crown jewel of Peter’s mini empire, he’ll flip anything: “clothing, real estate, food, anything. Like, the day after Obama was elected, I got copies of the Daily News for fifty cents each. I bought every copy. Now they’re twenty dollars!… I used to do green-tea Kit Kats. You could sell the bags for sixteen dollars each. There were only two stores in New York that had them, so I called the stores and told them I wanted to buy everything they had whenever they got the Kit Kats in.”
Read the rest of the article on The New Yorker here.