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The Definitive Ranking of Every Supreme Photo Tee Ever

Posted by Ross Dwyer at

There's nothing quite like a Supreme photo tee. Only one releases every year, and every year's release is different and unique. Since Supreme started making the tees in 2005, they've featured rockers, rappers, models and more ... and with the recent rumblings about Nas being the poster boy for this year's photo tee, we figured now was as good of a time as any to put together a list of every Supreme photo tee ever. And let's be clear: a photo tee features an original image that was shot by Supreme, specifically for Supreme. That's why you won't see tees like KRS-One, Public Enemy, or Muhammed Ali here.

However, this isn't just your average, chronological-order list. Oh no, this is a special list. A definitive list. All 14 Supreme photo tees ranked in order. The journey from #14 to #1 is an interesting one, as 100 different people might see it 100 different ways ... but that's what makes lists like these so much fun. Let's get right to the tees. 

14. Lee "Scratch" Perry-2010

Photographer: Shaniqua Jarvis 

Starting off our list is Lee "Scratch" Perry, a Jamaican dub music OG. His hand-drawn artwork adorns the corners of his images and the back of the shirt as well, lending to its overall hand-made feel. Fun fact: this photo of Scratch was taken at his "Secret Laboratory" studio in Switzerland. 

13. Morrissey-2015

Photographer: Terry Richardson

Morrissey's tee may be coming in towards the bottom of our list, but that's certainly not because of its fascinating backstory. He claimed that he didn't like the image that was selected, and then all bets were really off when he denounced Supreme for collaborating with White Castle (he's a proud vegetarian). It's safe to say that this is the only photo tee that the participant had beef with (pun totally intended). 

12. Lou Reed-2009

Photographer: Terry Richardson

Out of all the photo tees Supreme released, none received more backlash from fans than Lou Reed in 2009. It wasn't because the tee didn't feature a great image (it did, Lou knows how to strike a pose) or wasn't marketed enough (Lou was front and center on Supreme's S/S 09' poster campaign), it was because younger fans had no idea who he was (if you didn't know, he's the former frontman of Velvet Underground). Can you imagine kids being frustrated with Supreme over a photo tee nowadays? Oh, how things have changed. 

11. Neil Young-2015

Photographer: Terry Richardson

Neil Young isn't the kind of guy you'd expect to be on a Supreme photo tee, but Supreme hasn't made it this far by doing the expected. The Canadian rocker donned a white-and-red box logo tee and posed with a hard scowl for Terry Richardson ... and Supreme fans both young and old were surprised and delighted. 

10. Shane MacGowan-2013

Photographer: Shaniqua Jarvis

Shaniqua Jarvis went all the way over to Dublin, Ireland to shoot the Pogues' frontman, and came back with not only a terrific image (and interview) ... but a terrific story. According to Jarvis, MacGowan gave her a great deal of free food and booze, and sang her R. Kelly's "Ignition" to boot. What more could you ask for?

9. Prodigy-2011

Photographer: Unknown

Supreme and Prodigy coming together for a tee made a lot of sense. Both are fiercely proud of their New York roots, and both came up in the 90's (Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones" is still one of the most iconic rap songs of all time), so when Prodigy was released from jail in 2011, it seemed only right that he be the face of Supreme's collection, complete with a video. His tee sees him posing in front of the Queensboro bridge, and the image was surrounded by his quotes and nicknames. 

8. Tera Patrick-2007

Photographer: Kenneth Cappello

Tera Patrick was the most popular adult film star in the world in 2007 when she linked up with Kenneth Capello ... and the results of their shoot for Supreme were nothing short of amazing. Patrick's shirt was the first to veer away from the classic portrait style Supreme used on their photo tees, and it's still a head-turner to this day, 10 years later. 

 7. Gucci Mane-2016

Photographer: Harmony Korine

The legend of Zone 6's own Gucci Mane reached mythical proportions when he was incarcerated in 2014 ... and upon his release from jail in mid-2016, Supreme wasted no time in grabbing him for a collaboration. A short film shot by Harmony Korine that released on Supreme's website showed Gucci playing the piano and discussing his love of online shopping, all while rocking a white/red box logo tee. The rumors of Gucci making an appearance on a photo tee proved true when they dropped a few months later, making for one of the most crazed Supreme releases of the past few years. It's safe to say that everybody loves Guwop.

6. Three 6 Mafia-2012

Photographer: Terry Richardson

Although Supreme was founded as a skate brand, they possessed a natural, sneering hip-hop swagger from the beginning, so coming together with Memphis legends Three 6 Mafia (the first non-NY hip hop act to be featured on a tee) made a whole lot of sense. The duo was decked out in box logos (even on Juicy J's double cup), and the tee was also accompanied by a stoney video in which they taught their viewers how to "make" chicken wings. 

5. Kate Moss-2012

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan

2012 wasn't the first time Kate Moss appeared on a Supreme T-shirt. In 2004, she was featured on a tee that flipped a Calvin Klein ad, leading to legal threats from a humorless CK empire, so it was only right that Supreme brought her back for a 100% official collaboration in 2012. Her cold gaze and smoldering cigarette (plus her leopard jacket and box logo tee) make for one of the most memorable portraits in Supreme's history. 

4. Mike Tyson-2007

Photographer: Kenneth Cappello

Brooklyn's own Mike Tyson wasn't in the mood to have his photo taken when Kenneth Cappello went out to Las Vegas to shoot him. According to Cappello, Tyson spent the time allotted for the photo shoot cursing out everyone on the set and acting ornery. It's safe to assume that it likely wasn't the most pleasant scene in the world (nobody's ever accused Iron Mike of being a sweetheart), but the gritty, raw images that came out of it were certainly worth the struggle. 

3. Kermit the Frog-2008

Photographer: Terry Richardson

Only in the world of Supreme would a controversial champion boxer and a widely loved puppet frog be back-to-back on a list. They're from two completely different worlds ... but they're both united by the power of the box logo. A tiny tee was custom-made for Kermit, and Terry Richardson was somehow able to use his photographic magic to make a children's character just as cool as any rapper or model Supreme has ever put on a tee.  

2. Raekwon-2005

Photographer: Kenneth Cappello

The first-ever photo tee that Supreme released saw the Chef himself, Wu-Tang's own Raekwon posing with his heavily armed bodyguard ... and Elmo. The shirt perfectly encapsulated Supreme's subversive yin-and-yang: they've always had a hard edge, but have always been somewhat playful and light-hearted as well. Another fun fact: Sesame Street's lawyers were apoplectic when they saw Elmo coolin' with an automatic weapon, and demanded Supreme withdraw the tee at once. Three years later, Kermit the Frog (another Sesame Street character) was front and center on a tee, and it was an official collab.

1. Dipset-2006

Photographer: Kenneth Cappello

And here we are, finally at #1. The top spot belongs to none other than Juelz Santana and Jim Jones of Harlem's own Dipset. Cam'ron was far and away the most popular Dipset member at the time ... but Supreme always keeps an ear to the streets: Juelz and Jim were the NY street favorites, and therefore the perfect choice to adorn a photo tee. Kenneth Cappello recalls the shoot being somewhat strange, with "a lot of weed, and a lot of ego". Harlem's finest had a lot of attitude, attitude that shows through in this shirt and lands it squarely in the top spot on our list.  

 

 

How would you rank all 14 Supreme photo tees? Which tee is your favorite? Do you think the rumored Nas tee will release this fall? Hit us up and let us know on Twitter, check our Facebook page for updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire pictures you can handle.


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