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Samsung finally decided to cancel its eyebrow-raising partnership with a fake Supreme brand

Published Feb 4th, 2019 2:42PM EST
Samsung Supreme collaboration

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It took almost two months, but it seems that Samsung has finally come to its senses. After a splashy announcement in December about a partnership between Samsung, of course one of the world’s premiere technology companies, and a knock-off of the iconic New York-based streetwear fashion brand Supreme, the tech giant quickly garnered backlash over the deal. Supreme Italia is the name of the fake Supreme brand, which drew the ire of the real Supreme folks who quickly pushed back that the partnership had nothing to do with the real company (“These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization” read a scathing press response to the impending deal). Samsung almost immediately reversed course, saying it would re-evaluate the team-up, and now the company has decided to put the final nail in its coffin.

According to a post from Samsung on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the deal is not going forward, though Samsung doesn’t say much at all in the somewhat terse update. A translation of that post reads, in full: “Samsung Electronics mentioned the cooperation with Supreme Italia at the Galaxy A8s China conference held on December 10 last year. Samsung Electronics has decided to stop the cooperation.”

As we mentioned back in December, this was a pretty weird story from the get-go. At that Galaxy A8s event, Samsung allowed a few executives from Supreme Italia to join the company on stage. It gave them that prominent moment in the spotlight, at a high-profile tech industry event no less, while knowing full well that Supreme Italia is very much not the same NYC company that everyone knows.

As a reminder, because of a trademark law oddity, the US company is actually not registered in a few places around the world, including in Italy. That’s the reason for Supreme Italia is allowed to legally operate. Both companies have sparred over the perception of legitimacy, but setting aside that for a moment, it’s still pretty odd that this potential arrangement with Samsung got as far as it did.

It’s not clear who at the South Korea-based tech giant thought this was a good idea, but it’s not like the company is hurting for publicity or buzz. It’s releasing a few new exciting devices this year alone, including a foldable phone that’s got the tech industry buzzing, which presumably would eliminate the need to team up with a controversial knock-off clothing brand to gin up excitement.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.