Kanye’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ pop up generated $1 million in two days
The “Kanye Effect” shows no signs of slowing down after all of these years. Typically, anything that the rapper and designer wears or attaches his name to moves units almost immediately.
On March 17, West announced that he would sell The Life of Pablo concert merchandise at a special pop up store in New York City. The shop would sell merchandise that debuted and sold at his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show during NYFW in February. The pop up opened on Friday, March 18 at 12pm on 83 Wooster Street in SoHo.
Lines began to form at the store after Kanye announced the opening date and time, and by Friday morning the line was down the block with as many as 3,000 people and police barricades. Inside, the space was all white with brushed metal racks that featured merchandise grouped by color.
The pop up carried various Cali Thornhill DeWitt-designed apparel like red sweatshirts, hoodies, denim jackets, and bomber jackets featuring the name ‘Pablo’ and the phrase “I feel like Pablo”, which is a line from the album’s song No More Parties in LA featuring Kendrick Lamar. The sweatshirts, hoodies and tees were screenprinted Gildan apparel and Alpha Industries bomber jackets received the same treatment.
Other styles included ‘Ultra Light Beams’ t-shirts, a reference to the intro track of ‘Pablo’ that shares the same name, an ‘In Loving Memory’ t-shirt featuring an airbrushed image of Donda West on the front and Robert Kardashian on the back, I Feel Like Pablo caps and beanies and Season 1 & 2 zines. Prices ranged from $35 to $400.
Surprisingly, the pop up carried knockoff Pablo merchandise after the official styles sold out. Austin Butts and Jonah Levine created ‘Pablo’ screenprinted apparel and sold it to people on line for the pop up. Butts told Complex that the staff loved what he and Levine were doing, so they agreed to give them the official Pablo merchandise in exchange for theirs. The duo could not confirm that the knockoffs were sold however.
The Pablo collection made its way to eBay before the pop up closed, and styles were marked up significantly from its original retail price. Mashable reported that the Squad Sheet Vintage Jean Jacket that sold for $400 is being resold for as much as $2,000. The Pablo Vintage Jean Jacket increased from $400 to as much as $1,299, the $350 Pablo Burgundy Bomber is being sold for $600 and $1,200, the I Feel Like Pablo hoodie is being resold for $310 and I Feel Like Pablo shirts are priced upwards of $380.
The pop up officially closed on Sunday, and West tweeted about the aftermath on Tuesday. According to the rapper, the pop up sold $1 million in merchandise over the weekend. He added via Twitter, “There is no other brand that could sell 1 million dollars of clothing in 2 days from 1 location!!!”
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