21 cities see Life of Pablo pop up stores
Imagine opening 21 stores on the same weekend…
US rapper Kanye West is no stranger to controversy… and he certainly knows how to work the PR machine ! Last weekend his fashion label Yeezy launched 21 simultaneous pop-up stores for the Life of Pablo apparel range – named after his latest studio album (which was originally titled SWISH, then Waves, before changing to the final name just days ahead of the album release)
Details of the global pop up shops were kept very quiet until late last week, when details were announced via Twitter and the Kanye West website. Awareness of the event was pretty swift, with masses of media-mentions and numerous videos on You Tube.
Sydney (Bondi) and Melbourne (Fitzroy) were among the first of the stores to open last Friday – both of them attracting lines of fans who’d camped out overnight to be first-in for the limited range of Life of Pablo merchandise (T-shirts, hoodies,hats and jackets). A neighbouring retailer in Fitzroy was surprised to find fans sleeping in her doorway last Friday morning… and later took to social media (and national breakfast TV…) to complain how those crowds of Pablo shoppers had disrupted business – blocking access to her shop for 2 days… “One of my customers tried to get through the crowds of people with her walker and someone yelled at her. That’s when I thought, no, that’s it” said shop-keeper Charlotte Knightley of Zetta Florence in Brunswick Street.
In other cities, shoppers also lined up for hours (8 hours’ average in san Francisco, 5+ hours in New York…) Some customers then voiced their disappointment at paying exorbitant prices for cheap quality… the London store was selling £70 Pablo designs printed on £2 T-shirts.
The Kayne West pop ups do attract a lot of attention… back in March 2016 he claimed sales more than $1million over the two days of his NYC Life of Pablo store. Two years ago West opened a pop up store in Melbourne’s South Yarra during his Yeezus concert tour (the PR machine had a busy time that week too, when West “arrived on a stretcher carried by paramedics“ at a local hospital – not long after he and wife Kim Kardashian had battled his pop-up crowds on a soggy Chapel Street)
images : Kanye West pop up stores, August 2016
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