Kanye West's Life of Pablo pop-up shop: On the scene
At 3:46 p.m. on Thursday, Kanye West tweeted an announcement, as he is wont to do; this one said he’d be opening a pop-up shop full of The Life of Pablo merchandise in New York’s SoHo the next day at 4 p.m. Soon after, fans began forming a blocks-long line outside the Wooster Street location in hopes of getting inside and seeing what the rapper had to offer — and what he has to offer is plenty of red and blue apparel ranging in price from $35 to $400.
The clothes West revealed at February’s Madison Square Garden event were bathed in dull earth tones, but the pop-up shop is all about primary colors: One rack holds maroon track jackets, hoodies, and T-shirts, while another carries similar items in a vibrant blue. Denim jackets, one kind featuring the Life of Pablo track list and another kind plain save for “PABLO” printed in red on the back, get their own room.
“He’s somebody that expresses himself no matter if it looks good or it looks bad to the public eye, and I feel like that’s a pretty dope message,” Jamal, a shopper who waited in line since 10 p.m. the evening before, tells EW. “It’s a pretty cool thing, maybe to pass down to my son or something.”
Another customer also had his children in mind, but for different reasons: A reseller named Sole Street arrived at 8 p.m. the night before to make it inside so he could buy about $5,000 worth of items to auction off on his Instagram account. “I charge them an exorbitant amount on top for the trouble of me waiting out here on line, and then I make money on it to feed my five children,” he says. And although he didn’t buy any to keep for himself, someone close to him got lucky. “I’m gonna buy one for my son because he’s cute.”
Shoppers started entering the airy space at around 3:30 p.m. before its official opening at 4 p.m., but it remained fairly empty even then. The showroom itself is fairly minimalist, free of any decoration except for a single wall featuring a rotation of projected images that includes a police car exploding, dogs baring their teeth, dew-covered roses, and the White House (presumably a nod to West’s Video Music Awards speech where he “announced” his 2020 bid for presidency). The Life of Pablo plays over Sonos speakers, meaning the pop-up shop is the only place besides Tidal to listen to the new album.
The shop will be open until 8 p.m. on Friday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 83 Wooster St. in New York. See West’s announcement and a photo of the line below.