The snowy weather didn’t stop fans from showing love this past weekend. On Saturday, rapper Dave East opened a pop-up shop at Community 54 in NYC, featuring his latest merchandise and items from emerging brand Inspire or Retire.
“It really showed me that what I’ve been doing thus far is meaning something to people, where they’ll come out in the snow and all that…it’s been packed all day; so it just showed me the love I got when I’m in New York. It’s nothing but love here, no matter the weather,” East tells Billboard.
The intimate venue was decorated with black-and-white photography while East’s music played in the background. Wearing all black and gold accessories, the rapper signed hard copies of his CD and took pictures with fans.
The event kicked off at 2 p.m. and wrapped up around 6 p.m. “I definitely know about Dave East and what he’s doing ,especially with Mass Appeal (an independent record label founded by Nas) so I wanted to come out and support,” said attendee Keenan Higgens. “I saw some really dope merch. I like the ’96 to 2016 shirt.”
Having merch of his own was a long-term goal for East, whose personal favorite article of clothing is hooded sweatshirts. “Honestly, I’ve been wanting to do merchandise. I wanted to get to a certain point where I knew it would kind of more in demand,” East explained. East began creating merch for his fans just last year (2016). Items include printed hoodies, t-shirts, tanks, and a pillow ranging from $30-$50.
In the future, East plans to have more pop-up shop events where he can meet his fans. He also has upcoming collaborations with underwear line Ethika and sockwear company Stance. “I want to continue to [make clothing] with all my next projects. Whatever I’m doing, I just want to involve the fashion with it.”