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I Went to Kanye West’s “The Life Of Pablo” Pop-Up

Very few people can shut down an entire New York City block- maybe Obama or One Direction- but Kanye West proved his (literal) worth with his weekend pop-up shop for his latest album, The Life of Pablo. I was one of the chosen ones who made it in.

While some people had camped out for days, my roommate and I chose to go last minute. We were already in the city, and this was once in a lifetime. Then, we made our way to 83 Wooster Street where the shop was located. We were greeted by over a dozen police officers and a line on both sides of the street. Walking the boulevard of broken dreams to the end of the line, everyone we passed looked like a Fashion Week street style star. Intimidated by the aura of cool emanating from the entire block, I was secretly glad I wore my Stan Smiths and Madewell blanket scarf- I almost looked like I belonged.

A shop window painted red with the word “PABLO” in a Gothic font served as a backdrop for many selfies. A few dozen people hung around the storefront, ranging from security to models decked out in Pablo merch. Minor celebrities like Ian Connor, a model from the Yeezy Season 3 show, breezed into the shop, as we peasants looked on longingly from our spots in line. Periodically a cop would send in 10-15 people. We were nervous since our friend had waited for 6 hours the day before, but grew confident with each group that went in. We had arrived at 4 p.m., and by 4:45 the line had made good progress.

People ordered pizza from their places in line. We were hungry, but Emily’s phone was dead and I was at 24% and had to save my battery for when we made it in. On top of that, it started snowing. I could see Emily slowly fading, but we couldn’t give up. We were in too deep.  

Finally, we were at the front of the line, and a cop signaled it was our turn to go in. “This is it,” I said, “we’ve made it to the promised land!” I thought as I passed under the gates of heave. Left of the door was a blue hoodie that said “I FEEL LIKE PABLO” in red and a jean jacket with “PABLO” printed on it, hanging from a bronze rack. The store was white and minimalist, with the same racks lining the walls of the two rooms. One room had bomber jackets and jean jackets, while red and blue t-shirts, nylon jackets and hoodies in the other room were organized by color. Racks had a few of each item- you had to go to a crowded counter where employees would get you merch from the back and check you out. The walls were bare except for signs listing the merch, and Kanye-approved images projected on the front wall, accompanying the TLOP songs blasting in the store. We settled on blue short sleeve tees for $45 each, despite having to buy them in XL, the smallest size left.

Two hours and thirty minutes of our lives lost and $90 poorer with just two t-shirts to show for it, I felt a weird sense of accomplishment. As I left the store, I stuck my fist in the air à la Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club. Am I a fool for waiting 2+ hours for overpriced t-shirts? No. I am one of hundreds that loves Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye, and I hope that everyone has that kind of love.



Originally from Boston, Caroline is a sophomore International Studies major and French minor at Fairfield University. She is a News Editor for Her Campus Fairfield as well as the Twitter Account Manager. When not hitting the books you can find her talking about cats and over posting on Instagram as @wiccancool.
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