James Jebbia was born in the United States in the mid 1960s to an American father who was in the United States Air Force and English mother who was a homemaker and later a teacher. They divorced when he was 10. 
In 1983 when Jebbia was 19, he moved to New York City, paying $500 for a Staten Island apartment. He landed a job at Parachute, a minimalist skate shop and clothing store located in SoHo. His first retail venture Union NYC was opened in 1989 carrying an experimental mix of mostly English brands and from 1991 to 1994 he teamed up with Shawn Stussy. 
In 1994, Jebbia opened up the first Supreme store in SoHo. The distinctive red box logo containing "Supreme" in Futura Heavy Oblique is largely based on Barbara Kruger's propaganda art. The brand caters to punk/street/skate culture of New York City. iT has atained huge success by its ability to stay underground. 
By 2002, Jebbia was worth $40 million.