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Jebbia Mind Tricks

James Jebbia
The issue for VF is that you can’t sell Supreme without the buy-in and partnership of James Jebbia, the brand’s still very clued-in and influential founder. Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com
Lauren Sherman
May 30, 2024

Did VF Corp, the down-on-its-luck owner of modern-heritage-ish brands like Vans and The North Face, hire Goldman Sachs earlier this month to market its smaller brands, like the cult luxury streetwear brand Supreme? Nobody is denying the rumor, nor will they confirm, but it sure seems like VF is motivated to shake up its portfolio. The company’s market capitalization is down to $4.7 billion from nearly $40 billion in 2019, and the activist investor Engaged Capital is pounding on its walls. The company is also under pressure to fix Vans, whose sales were down 26 percent in the most recent quarter.

The Supreme rumors are everywhere in the industry. Just this past week, I heard some light gossip that VF turned down an offer from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. (VF did not respond to a request for comment, and other people called bullshit on the entire scenario.) There was also speculation that a potential investor is looking to form a new “very cool” strategic group, with Supreme as the linchpin. (Wow, a dream. But, again, who knows. VF once again didn’t have anything to say about it.)