Community, Creativity, And Commerce: The Supervsn Story With Gavin Mathieu


Not many can handle a store break-in with grace and calmness, let alone create new merchandise and address their community directly. However, Gavin Mathieu, the co-founder and creative director of Supervsn, did. He transformed an adverse event into a positive opportunity, stating, “I’m going to use this [break-in] to remind you of my intentions, which is to serve the youth. We’re going to do what we do best – MAKE A T-SHIRT.”

In addition, he reached over a quarter of the $15k goal for in-store damages and new security in less than three days after the announcement. Mathieu’s response was a testament to showcasing his dedication to his customers and values beyond mere revenue.

Community, Creativity, And Commerce: The Supervsn Story With Gavin Mathieu

Born and raised in South Central, California adjacent to Leimert Park, Mathieu draws inspiration from his neighborhood and family, including his late father’s journey from the NFL to law and his mother’s entrepreneurial spirit. His earliest inspiration came from his grandmother, who instilled in him self-confidence and a visionary mindset. These influences led Mathieu to establish Supervsn, his flagship store, now celebrating its 5th anniversary of building a business and brand authentically, located at 4440 West Slauson Ave.

Prior to Supervsn, Mathieu ventured into entrepreneurship at 23 years old with his store YOUth on Fairfax Ave from 2013 to 2015. Drawing lessons from this past, he prioritized creating positive experiences over hype with Supervsn, “I always say to create a feeling, and the feeling we want to create is a positive one for people, so that’s how we move. Down to the people you meet at the store and the product’s quality, you can experience the intention behind it,” shares Mathieu. 

Community, Creativity, And Commerce: The Supervsn Story With Gavin Mathieu

With this foundation, Mathieu debuted Supervsn in 2019, quickly gaining recognition from the city of Mayer attracting a diverse community, including teen skaters eager to purchase the brand’s offerings—from stickers for helmets and skateboards to new clothes. What sets Supervsn apart is its status as an in-house creative studio powered by his dedicated team. The vision extends beyond commerce to fostering community connections, exemplified by events like ‘Slauson Saturdays,’ where vendors and creatives converge for a vibrant, social atmosphere. Their neighboring Black-owned businesses, 444IV WELLNESS LOUNGE, and Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, promoting on the same day, turned their programming into a block party.

We spoke with Gavin Mathieu about Supervsn’s journey, prioritizing authenticity, and focusing on building a legacy around creative wellness and entrepreneurship.

Community, Creativity, And Commerce: The Supervsn Story With Gavin Mathieu
SUPERVSN STUDIOS Reflecting on the past five years of Supervsn’s journey, what lessons have you learned about the power of perseverance and staying true to your vision, especially in an ever-evolving fashion landscape?

Gavin Mathieu: It feels good to know that we are more vital now than ever. We started at a tricky time. We survived the pandemic. We survived the social challenges post-George Floyd, which are still going on. But I feel so good about what the challenges did for us and built a strong business. And so, in the next five years, you’re going to see us start jumping in the end zone. Do you know what I mean? Doing touchdown dances. 

As you expand Supervsn’s local and global presence, what guiding principles do you prioritize to ensure that growth remains rooted in authenticity and integrity?

We’re definitely growing and partnering with retailers that respect the brand, understand what we’re about, and represent us properly. Although it’s one of the larger challenges, keeping the mission and the message pure and ensuring the intention is felt. I’ve learned that controlled growth allows you to make sure that every interaction is an earned relationship rather than a paid one, or it doesn’t feel the richness of it is not sacrificed. It’s just resetting the intention and saying, okay, let’s always make sure that no matter how big we get, we lead with creativity, we lead with the ideas. We’re strong and creative and then letting it trickle down from there, rather than the reverse being strong, clothing creative as an afterthought. 

What are your upcoming goals for Supervsn and the store? 

We are focused on the brand’s storytelling, content, aesthetics, and visuals. We might be making a movie, and we have dope collaborations lined up for this year that will run the gamut of social scale. But they are true stories that we want to tell. I want to stay true to what I love, including design, creative direction, and commercials.

Community, Creativity, And Commerce: The Supervsn Story With Gavin Mathieu

What’s your key to hiring the right people? 

It’s essential to me that people believe in life’s greater mission and purpose for them, whether it is here or not. I respect people’s time. Losing my father early on showed me that life is short. People have to choose where they want to be. I want you to be here because you enjoyed it. I want people to be happy when they wake up and when they come to work, love it. We also host dinners, go bowling and taco nights, and go on creative retreats.

How are you building a legacy through your brand? 

The first pillar is creative wellness. Whatever we do, we want the generation that comes after us to be healthy creatives and entrepreneurs. I plan to invest in the structure around the company’s foundation and build the team to be as strong as the clothing or studio sides. When we started our foundation, our paid internship program was the first initiative and program we’ve been running [ where it pairs youth with corporate and small business spaces]. And we will continue that and add additional initiatives and things that speak on the other pillars of our foundation, including creative wellness, entrepreneurship, and design thinking.

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