Kanye West’s pop up shop is buy-but-don’t-touch—and fans can’t get enough

Kanye West fans are in a frenzy over his new clothing line.
Kanye West fans are in a frenzy over his new clothing line.
Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

“You break it, you buy it,” is a sign that appears in many stores in America. At Kanye West’s temporary shops, it’s more like “you touch it, you buy it.”

The rapper launched a “pop up shop” extravaganza across 21 cities worldwide. The stores will sell a clothing line that’s basically merchandising for West’s most recent album, The Life of Pablo.

In typical West fashion, there are some very strict and peculiar rules. First, you can’t touch the clothes. Shoppers can only buy three items of any particular piece of clothing, in an effort to combat secondhand online sales. Customers need to mark their orders on a piece of paper before they get in, and then they have two minutes to finalize their order before they have to leave the store. The stores only allows three people inside at all times.

Judging from Instagram and Twitter, fans don’t seem to mind. They’re still lining up in the streets for a glimpse of Kanye’s clothes.

And in Bondi, Australia, people were lining up in the streets from 6PM the day before for the store opening there, according The Sydney Morning Herald.

Other musicians are following West into fashion. With streaming music services cannibalizing album sales, artists are looking for other ways to make money. If you’re big enough to get the type of worldwide tours Kanye goes on, that’ll be a multi-million dollar endeavor on its own, but selling artist-designed clothing seems to be a pretty profitable business, too. Justin Bieber has been selling jackets at Barney’s for over $1,600, and Drake has been expanding his own fashion line as well. West’s clothing are a bit more affordable, ranging from $50 to $400.