Supreme has teased its next collaboration with Jamie Reid, the English artist and mind behind some of The Sex Pistols’ most famous album artworks, only days after announcing the release of the Air Max 96. The partnership honors the anarchist with ties to the Situationists, an international movement of social revolutionaries composed of noble artists, scholars, and political thinkers, as announced at the outset of the season.
Reid was born in 1947 and schooled in Croydon, South London, where he attended international cooperation and anti-apartheid marches with his spiritually committed and politically concerned parents. “My grandfather and Scottish father were Druids and that was instilled in me alongside a socialist and anarchic background. It’s all part of a continuous story for me,” acclaimed Reid.
Reid met Malcolm McLaren at the Croydon School of Art in the late 1960s, and the two had an interest in the Situationists. After having organized student protests in London, the pair went on the travel to Paris during the tail end of the Left Bank student upheavals. Reid co-founded Suburban Press, an anti-corruption and anti-corporate publication in Croydon, in the 1970s.
Mclaren would then telegraph Jamie Reid about a band he was managing in early 1976. Reid would go to London to design album artwork for The Sex Pistols’ four debut singles, “Pretty Vacant,” “Anarchy in the United Kingdom,” “Holidays in the Sun,” and “God Save the Queen,” as well as their lone studio album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here Comes The Sex Pistols.” Reid’s unconventional décollage art, distinguished by ransom-note style script, vibrant colors, with historical and popular culture references, would become an unmistakable signature of the punk era.
Derek Jarman, an artist and LGBTQIA+ rights activist, goes on to describe that Reid is “The person who really set typography alight in this country. The way the typography is used, it’s aggressive, bright, and absolutely of its time.”
Jamie Reid would deepen his activism after his involvement in the punk movement, using provocative art and direct-action demonstrations to protest Britain’s poll tax, Section 28, the 1994 Criminal Justice Act, and climate injustice. “People could be very happy with fuck all.” Reid wrote in 2015. “Learn from the past, Live in the present. Look to the future.”
Reid’s Spring 2021 collaboration includes a sweater, hooded sweatshirt, varsity jacket, and a t-shirt inspired by this evolved and expressive style. Reid, who lives in Liverpool and works out of the Florence Institute community center, is still motivated by his own Druidism and commitment to the United Kingdom regardless of his stellar career.