The former Smiths frontman is unhappy with New York skatewear label Supreme’s choice of images of him, and its association with a burger brand
Morrissey, fashion photographer Terry Richardson, and skatewear brand Supreme: what should have been a perfect storm of cool has backfired after the former Smiths frontman reacted badly to photographs of himself modelling for the label.
Taking to his fanzine, True to You, over the weekend, he released the following statement: “I apologize [sic] enormously for the enfeebled photograph of me issued this week by Supreme. The shot was taken in October 2015. I considered the photograph to be fit only for a medical encyclopedia and I pleaded with Supreme not to use it. This was before I learned that Supreme were sponsored in part by the beef-sandwich pharaoh known as White Castle.”
Last October, Supreme commissioned Terry Richardson to shoot the campaign starring the miserabilist wearing one of its logo T-shirts. Morrissey disliked the images, and preferred a self-taken photograph of himself in a Supreme T-shirt that later appeared on his nephew’s Instagram.
The brand didn’t want to use that image, and in a statement to music site Stereogum, laid out the attempts it claimed to have made to resolve the situation.
Supreme says it offered a complete re-shoot at its own cost, or for Morrissey to choose an alternative image from the original shoot, or to return his fee, which it had paid in full in advance and which it called “substantial”. He refused any of these offers, says Supreme, and offered no explanation as to why.
“[Morrissey] then proceeded to assert a sudden and ridiculous claim that because Supreme had used the [US burger chain] White Castle logo on a group of products in the past, and because he is a known vegetarian, that the agreement was supposedly terminated,” wrote the firm.
Supreme has released the images on billboards all over the world.
Morrissey is known for endorsing vegetarianism and animal rights and told his fanzine that he was concerned over an apparent sponsorship deal between the chain and the label: “Supreme were issued with a legal caution not to use the photograph and their fee would be returned,” he continued to write on the fanzine.
“Evidently Supreme have ignored my lawyer. No safety within the corridors of law. Ugh.”
Supreme used the cult burger chain’s logo for a capsule collection in 2015, rather than receiving any sponsorship.
It’s not the first time the skatewear label has gone off-piste with its models; past faces include Neil Young, Lou Reed and Kermit the Frog. Nor is it the first time Morrissey has reacted badly to something because it involves meat. Last year, the singer banned meat caterers backstage at his Vivid LIVE shows at the Sydney Opera House.
This article was written by Morwenna Ferrier, for theguardian.com on Monday 15th February 2016 15.26 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010