The Instagram likes had only just begun to pile up on runway photos of the ultra-luxe collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme in January, but online speculation about what would come next was already at a fever pitch. How much would the items cost? (A lot.) Which celebrities and influencers would get their hands on pieces from the collection first? (Travis Scott, ASAP Rocky, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna and Justin Bieber, to name a few.) What does it mean that a cult New York skate brand like Supreme had stormed Vuitton’s venerable Parisian runway? (That they’d soon receive a $1 billion valuation.) And, most pragmatically, how would these items actually be sold? After pricing — which no one doubted would be exorbitant — the answer to the final question was perhaps the most obvious: the collaborative pieces would be offered in limited quantities at select, special retail locations around the globe without much advance warning. It’s a tactic that we’ve come to know as a drop, and one that Supreme has used to great effect at its international brick-and-mortar stores for years. The Louis Vuitton x Supreme drop wasn’t without a few hiccups; the New York event was denied a permit by a local community board, although drops in other cities like London and Paris were held as planned. Still, it concisely illustrated what makes this retail strategy so appealing for brands and shops alike, and why there has been a noticeable uptick in high-profile drops in 2017. Read more at Fashionista.