Supreme dropped its Fall/Winter 2015 collection in full yesterday, with it garnering the same sort of polarized reception we've come to expect from the legendary Lafayette Street brand. Behind-the-scenes though, we recognize that this drop comes at a pivotal time – including the pending departure of longstanding Creative Director Brandon Babenzien after spring/summer 2016. While Supreme is a notoriously opaque brand when it comes to design and direction, this transition will be punctuated by the arrival of one Max Vanderwoude Gross.
Born and bred in the Washington D.C. area, what we know about Vanderwoude Gross comes from his work as creative director of cult favorite label Proper Gang. His story is unorthodox for fashion design, but then again, so is Supreme's own: Vanderwoude Gross dabbled in mechanics and was wrapped up in gang culture as a kid. After attaining a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration at Parsons, the industrious young designer worked under Humberto Leon and Carol Lim at Opening Ceremony, then helped open Acne Studios' New York flagship in 2012. During this time, Proper Gang debuted – a casual swirl of boxy workwear shapes cut generously for a lackadaisical finish. Luxury materials such as Sea Island cotton and tropical wool are cheekily embedded within the pieces, as if to say: wearers will recognize the quality, and that's all that matters. Does that attitude sound familiar? Vanderwoude Gross' position (held since January 2014) is still being defined in the wake of Babenzien's transition into NOAH, but look for key indicators of his signature touch in the coming seasons. In addition to Jian DeLeon's recent profile for Complex, head here to peruse a 2014 Flaunt profile on the designer.