Earlier this year, a glut of avid Kanye West fans marched to SoHo in New York to satisfy their insatiable need for The Life of Pablo merchandise. While some hypebeasts were able to go “H.A.M” and cop merch, others haplessly waited on a lengthy line just to get in. The burgundy shirts emblazoned with ‘Ye’s succinct “I Feel Like Pablo” tagline owned the springtime.
Fast forward to the summer, and the opening night (Aug. 19) of Yeezy’s global Pablo pop-up takeover — the rapper announced he would launch 21 shops around the world earlier this week — had the streets of New York in a frenzy. This time around, The Supermarket in Tribeca served as West’s proverbial home for everything Pablo. The sweltering heat didn’t stop zealous middle-school kids and fashion junkies from forming a snake-like line, which wrapped around the block since the wee hours of the morning. Fans downed countless bottles of water supplied by The Supermarket to stay hydrated while they waited to be escorted inside the store.
In Kanye fashion, The Supermarket appeared almost incognito from the outside compared to its neighbors Chipotle, Levis, and Empire. Inside, white walls were lined with racks of white and black Pablo shirts inscribed with gold gothic lettering, courtesy of artist Cali Thornhill, the man responsible for the design of the original “I Feel Like Pablo” shirts.
Shoppers browsed to the sounds of Billboard’s cover star Chance The Rapper preaching over Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam,” from his seventh studio effort, The Life of Pablo. Popular ‘Ye phrases from the album like “woke up and felt the vibe” from “Famous” to “who your real friends” adorned other crewnecks, T-shirts, hoodies and long-sleeve shirts. He also paid homage to the Big Apple by creating black-and-white hats that read “New York.” His first run in New York earned him a whopping $1 million over two days. Judging by the turnout for day one of his three-day store-run, West may have no problem squashing that feat, especially with stores in cities around the world.
Enthralled by the atmosphere of Yeezy, incoming college freshman Alastair Mecke quickly jumped out of her regular clothes and into her newly-acquired Pablo gear. After spending eight hours on-line, Mecke felt rejuvenated once she tossed on her $55 black “I Feel Like Pablo” shirt and $45 New York hat. “[We’ve been here] since 11,” she told Billboard. “They told us that maybe we weren’t going to be let in and that we probably weren’t going to be let in until tomorrow.”
Two popular items among the Kanye stans were the $325 Pablo green military jackets and the $250 Pablo black satin bombers. Both items were stitched with PABLO on the back in bold letters and were quickly flying off the racks. As West himself preps for his Saint Pablo Tour (he’ll be touching in New York on Sept. 5), his true fans will be rocking their new gear, feeling just like Pablo.