Kanye West – the pioneering artist, designer and merchant who has twice been named to the TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world – announced last night through a tweet an unprecedented 21-city worldwide PABLO retail event to take place this weekend, Friday, August 19th through Sunday, August 21st. The temporary stores continue Kanye’s partnership with Universal Music Group’s Bravado – the industry leader in merchandise and branding services for recording artists and brands.
On the heels of his history-making deal with apparel powerhouse adidas, and alongside the global phenomenon that is YEEZY, Kanye’s disruptive, red-hot PABLO sales events in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Paris have shown the power of his brand and the unilateral, insatiable demand for his products.
Now, Kanye West will bring the PABLO experience to fans all over the world. The first ever simultaneous, worldwide pop-up event will span thirteen cities in the U.S., three in Europe, and more in Australia and Asia. To execute his vision, Kanye continues his partnership with Bravado. With a global infrastructure including offices in over 40 cities, Bravado is the only partner poised to quickly develop and execute a worldwide retail and merchandising strategy of this scale.
In the continental U.S., the PABLO pop-up events will take place in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Portland OR, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. Around the world, selected cities include Toronto, Singapore, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, and Cape Town.
Each temporary store will not only carry a broad line of Kanye’s PABLO merch available only in stores – but will also include limited edition designs, exclusive to that city.
“The godfather of the current phenomenon is Kanye West,” proclaims the New York Times. “He has been just as attuned to his graphic, self-branded touring merchandise, taking cues from the fashion industry to promote and distribute it…announcing pop-ups minutes before they open…With the merchandise for the Yeezus and Pablo tours, Mr. West has done nothing less than ‘set a streetwise blueprint for concert march.’ His fellow stars took note.”
“The Pioneer,” Billboard boasts. “Many point to Kanye West and his 2013 Yeezus-design-heavy product lineup — a collaboration among the rapper, his creative agency Donda and the artist Wes Lang — for transcending earlier notions of what merch could be. The products generated a frenzy of demand when they went on sale at concerts and West’s online store, followed by a release of six tees at PacSun that sold out in a day. Many pieces continue to command five to seven times their original sale prices on eBay. West further raised the bar during New York Fashion Week in February, when he released his latest album, The Life of Pablo, at a fashion show for his YEEZY Season 3 collection and introduced a complete lineup of Pablo-themed merch that was sold at surprise pop-ups in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. Beyond $45 tees and $95 hoodies, the collection included $400 thrift-store-sourced jackets emblazoned with Pablo graphics. Demand has easily exceeded supply; lines have wrapped blocks, and a three-day pop-up in New York alone generated $2 million in sales, claimed West. The free press it has created for his upcoming Saint Pablo tour? Worth even more.”
Precise store hours and locations for the PABLO temporary stores have so far been revealed for Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Capetown, Amsterdam and London – and the remaining cities will be announced in the day ahead at http://www.kanyewest.com/temporarystores/. Posted hours will be uniform in every city, regardless of time zones, so that the event will, in fact, be taking place 24 hours a day around the world over the course of the three days.
In each space, a high-fidelity sound experience will be by provided by SONOS. Fans can listen to Kanye’s platinum Def Jam album The Life Of Pablo on the newest SONOS speakers and components. The Life Of Pablo made history as the first #1 album to top the charts on streaming alone. Now, fans can engage in the music together in advance of the upcoming sold-out SAINT PABLO TOUR, in a space exclusively designed by Kanye himself. As music is increasingly experienced on digital platforms, the PABLO pop-ups have become an authentic way for fans to have a physical connection to their favorite artist.
Square will be the exclusive point of sale for this three day event. Using the latest (and fastest) Square Reader, Kanye fans will be able quickly pay for everything from PABLO tees and jackets to hats and sweatshirts, with just a tap of a phone.