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February 7, 2020
WAITING IN LINE FOR PABLO’S PARIS POP-UP: IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?
I’m not gonna lie, the “I Feel Like Pablo” tees are pretty sweet. But how did Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” collection grow into an overnight streetwear phenomenon, rivaling the likes of Supreme and PALACE? We decided to hang around Kanye’s Paris pop-up shop during Paris Men’s Fashion Week to see what the buzz is all about.
In true Yeezy fashion, Kanye only announced the pop-up 12 hours before it opened, in a tweet stating “PABLO TEMPORARY STORE JUNE 24 – 25 11AM – 8PM AT 40 RUE DE RICHELIEU IN PARIS.” And so, Paris’ hypebeasts were summoned to 40 rue de Richelieu, the Church of Yeezus, over the next 48 hours.
We arrived at 40, rue de Richelieu, in Paris’ trendy, fashion-focused 1er arrondissement just after lunchtime on June 25th, the second day of the pop-up. Prompted to queue down rue Villedo, the street just perpendicular to the pop-up shop, I felt a little bit like a prisoner as I walked down the street to the end of the queue, making eye contact with different genres of Parisian hypebeasts and fashion heads. As we took our place at the end of the queue, I spotted piles of garbage – water bottles, Red Bull cans, different kinds of liquor, and more – presumably left from the die-hard fans who posted up overnight to catch a glimpse of the store and get their share of Pablo. In front of us stood a clan of young Parisian boys dressed basically head to toe in PALACE (I don’t think I really need to elaborate), and behind me, a guy blasting Desiigner into his headphones. He gave up his lunch break from work to line up for Pablo’s pop-up.
Many times over, I felt the urge to give up and leave the queue – it was just moving way too slowly. The security guard would even waltz up and down from time to time attempting to entertain those waiting, in what seemed like an attempt to keep them from getting impatient and leaving the line. About an hour or so later (give or take), we made it into the pop-up, with a non-descript black exterior, making it impossible to see inside the boutique. By the time we made it inside, most of the good bits of the stock were already sold out. But the pieces that were exclusive to the Paris shop really caught my eye – P A R I S spread across a shirt in the infamous gothic typeface that everyone seems to go mad over these days. Without a doubt, this was the be all and end all of ‘Ye’s Paris pop-up.
Kanye’s first pop-up outside the States, it seemed to be pretty successful and solidify his European following. And honestly, the collection is cool. And fans of Yeezy and his Pablo collection feel like they belong to something special by taking part in his pop-ups. I totally get it. I don’t know if it’s worth the wait or camping out overnight, but I do salute Kanye for absolutely killing it as always.