The collaboration no one asked for or particularly wanted is now dead. In a Weibo post on Sunday, Samsung China says it has decided to axe its partnership with Supreme Italia, the knock-off version of the New York City-based streetwear brand you always see hypebeasts lining up for outside of stores.
The demise of this ill-fated partnership was initially spotted by Engadget, which translated Samsung’s statement from the original post in Chinese.
“Samsung Electronics had previously mentioned a collaboration with Supreme Italia at the Galaxy A8s China launch event on December 10th. Samsung Electronics has now decided to terminate this collaboration.“
The whole saga was bizarre from start to finish. For starters, when the collaboration was announced, Samsung was coming off some criticism for using a stock photo to tout the Galaxy A8 Star’s portrait mode. The company then trotted out two “Supreme CEOs” who, according to Hypebeast, claimed the streetwear brand would be entering China in 2019, along with a Beijing flagship store. The two CEOs then turned out to be representatives from the “legal fake” brand Supreme Italia.
Two days later, the side eyes and fan backlash resulted in a follow-up post in which Samsung said it was rethinking the partnership. Part of the issue was the fact that Supreme NYC doesn’t actually have authorization to sell and market its product in China, but its knockoff does. So technically, there was no legal reason stopping Samsung from selling fake Supreme merch in China, especially since the original brand lost its counterfeit lawsuits against the owner of Supreme Italia in 2018.
Really, Samsung’s decision to call it quits on the partnership isn’t all that surprising. The eventual ire from duped customers buying fake Supreme merch seemed like a PR nightmare waiting to happen. What’s more surprising is it took Samsung 54 days after announcing it had second thoughts to officially declare the collaboration dead.