A Supreme poster campaign featuring the ex-Smiths frontman Morrissey could only mean that a photo tee would be forthcoming as part of the brand’s Spring/Summer 2016 launch. While fans of the Moz were eagerly anticipating the drop date, Supreme did something it rarely does: the brand pulled back the curtain, disclosing that the project almost never happened. Here’s the full statement, posted on Supreme’s Facebook page:
In July of 2015 Supreme approached Morrissey to participate in one of it’s poster and T-Shirt campaigns. The scope of the project was explained in full detail to Morrissey, including the intended look, the setting, the photographer, as well as the items that would be produced: a T-Shirt and a poster. An agreement was entered which named the photographer as Terry Richardson, who has shot many of Supreme’s campaigns, and whom Morrissey has worked with before. Images of past campaigns were sent to Morrissey for reference so that the intended result was clear. Morrissey required a substantial fee for his participation in this project which Supreme paid up front and in full. The photo shoot lasted two hours and Morrissey was free to do, and pose as he wished. The agreement prohibits Morrissey from “unreasonably” withholding approval of the use of photographs taken at the photo shoot. After offering Morrissey several options of images from the shoot, Morrissey rejected them all with no explanation. Instead, Morrissey insisted on using a photo that he had taken of himself wearing a Supreme T-shirt for the campaign. This image was later made public on Instagram by his nephew. After many attempts to solve this problem, and left with no other viable options, Supreme proceeded to publish these images as per it’s agreement with Morrissey.
Unable to use this image Supreme repeatedly offered Morrissey three very reasonable options as a remedy to the impasse: 1) To do an entire re-shoot at Supreme’s sole expense, 2) To select one of the many options from the shoot with Terry Richardson that were offered to Morrissey, 3) To return the money that was paid to Morrissey by Supreme. Morrissey repeatedly ignored all three options with no reason given as to why. He then proceeded to assert a sudden and ridiculous claim that because Supreme had used the White Castle logo on a group of products in the past, and because he is a known vegetarian, that the agreement was supposedly terminated. In light of this ploy, Supreme once again requested the return of the money it had paid to Morrissey so that both parties could walk away from the project. However, he refused. After many attempts to solve this problem, and left with no other viable options, Supreme proceeded to publish these images as per it’s agreement with Morrissey.
The mercurial crooner took to his fanzine, True to You, to issue his own statement on the matter:
I apologize enormously for the enfeebled photograph of me issued this week by Supreme. The shot was taken in October 2015. I considered the photograph to be fit only for a medical encyclopedia and I pleaded with Supreme not to use it. This was before I learned that Supreme were sponsored in part by the beef sandwich pharaoh known as White Castle. Supreme were issued with a legal caution not to use the photograph and their fee would be returned. Evidently Supreme have ignored my lawyer. No safety within the corridors of law. Ugh. I offer excessive apologies for this association. Shame is indeed the name.
Despite the back-and-forth bickering and legal wrangling, it would appear the tee will see the light of day. Look for it to release as part of Supreme’s first drop when the store re-opens this Thursday.
Release Date: 2/20/16 (Thursday)