Kanye West launched 21 temporary "The Life of Pablo" pop-up shops around the world this weekend. (Photo by Taylor Jewell)
No touching allowed! Customers were tasked with choosing their selections from an itemized product sheet. (Photo by Charlie Weber, @charzweber)
The Life of Pablo pop-up, Dallas (Photo by Charlie Weber, @charzweber)
On February 14, Kanye West dropped his highly anticipated album The Life of Pablo. The anthology was met with praise and criticism; some fans applauded West’s gospel-infused tracks, while others felt the compilation completely missed the mark.
Split opinions didn’t stop The Life of Pablo from making a splash. It landed at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart (making it West’s seventh no. 1 album) and inspired a line of Pablo-esque apparel — a complement to West’s higher-priced Yeezy line.
In true Kanye West fashion, pandemonium ensued when the rapper unveiled his first Pablo pop-up shop in New York City this March, which reportedly sold nearly $1 million worth of merchandise in the first two days.
Hoping that lighting would strike twice (with West’s name, that’s almost a guarantee), West launched 21 temporary Pablo pop-up shops across the world (locations included Boston, Chicago, Miami, Capetown, Melbourne, London, and Berlin) on Friday. West announced the locations of the pop-ups just 24 hours before their debut — Dallas and Houston both made the list, with outposts at The Houston Galleria and the Stonebriar Center in the Dallas-area suburb Frisco.
“I got my jacket after waiting just one hour in line, which wasn’t too bad, compared to people who waited from 7 am to 1 pm. Initially, I wanted the Coaches jacket, but it was completely sold out once I arrived at the front of the line,” Smith said. “I went back and forth about getting the bomber jacket and just went for it, and I love it. It will be perfect to throw on in the fall.”
For Dallas-based fans, the experience commenced with temperamental weather (sudden showers, classic Texas weather) and long lines.
“I got there at 6 am and stood outside in the pouring rain until security let us in at 7 am to get our [entry] numbers Everyone was really cool. We talked about music and streetwear until I finally got in the store around 11 am (15 people were allowed in at a time for a total of 15 minutes),” explained self-proclaimed sneakerhead Steve Bishop. “It was a big deal for the Dallas area to be chosen as one of the 21 cities, so the wait was well worth it.
“People towards the back of the line were told it would take about 10 hours [before they could enter the shop]. At 34, I was easily the old man, but I didn’t care.”
A photo posted by Steve Bishop (@steviekicks) on
Bishop left the pop-up $240 lighter, but with four shirts in hand — two shirts for himself, inscribed with the lyrics “Ultra Light Beam,” and “We Young And We Alive”; for his wife, a T-short plastered with the words “I feel like Pablo.” A friend snagged Bishop’s final shirt.
Dallas-based blogger Charlier Weber didn’t mind the lengthy lines, either.
“The pop-up shop was a very unique experience. Sure, the line was long, but the exclusivity created an intimate and relaxed shopping experience. Of course, they were blasting West’s The Life of Pablo, and it was truly iconic,” explained Weber, who pens the blog The Lists of Charlie.
While the pop-up shop is in its last day, the buzz is likely to linger much longer. The Houston and Dallas pop-up locations opened at noon and continue through 6 pm.
Have you visited TLOP pop-up? Let us know about your experience in the comment section below.
Follow our featured bloggers for more scenes from TLOP pop-up: Steve Bishop, @steviekicks (Instagram), @thesteviekicks (Twitter); Kara Smith, @commonpolished (Instagram); Charlie Weber, @charzweber (Instagram and Twitter)