He might agitate editors with his packed-to-the-brim shows that disrupt the fashion week schedule, but consumers and retailers are buying into Kanye West. That was made clear on Thursday with the release of the musician’s Yeezy Season 1 collection, which was unveiled in February during New York Fashion Week and subsequently picked up by over 30 retailers in the U.S.
Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s and Chelsea Passage at Barneys New York, said lines formed outside of the company’s Madison Avenue flagship store on Thursday morning. Customers had to secure a wristband on Wednesday night to shop the collection. It was carried at 16 Barneys’ locations and released on its e-commerce site at 10 a.m. Thursday.
According to Kalenderian, the black 950 Boot, an elevated take on a duck boot that retails for $585, sold out first. Barneys will release a new colorway for the 350 Boost sneaker on Nov. 14.
On the apparel front, Kalenderian said Barneys picked up 18 styles from the collection and that the bouclé sweater, which retails for $1,690, was a bestseller.
“The Adidas Originals by Kanye West Yeezy Season 1 apparel collection is impressive in the way it has all the right pieces that are trending well right now and will appeal to our fashion customers,” said Kalenderian.
Online men’s wear retailer Mr Porter picked up 16 ready-to-wear pieces and two colorways of the 950 Boot. Sam Lobban, buying manager for the site, called the demand for the product “huge” and said everything sold well across the board. The retailer will also sell the next colorway of the 350 Boost sneaker, which Lobban said could be “worn by anyone.”
“Aesthetically the collection works very well,” said Lobban. “The styling of the show may have been specific for some people, but ultimately it was a show and thus a statement. As individual products, these are very well made with high-quality fabrications in easy wearable shapes.”
The Webster in Miami held a private cocktail party for its clients on Thursday evening for the launch of the line and sold the remainder of the merchandise at its locations in Miami and Bal Harbour on Friday.
Laure Heriard Dubreuil, the retailer’s cofounder and chief executive officer, bought about 30 styles of the line and said the camo T-shirt, which retails for $235; the camo trenchcoat, which retails for $2,860; the coach jacket, which retails for $2,095; the destroyed sweater, which retails for $2,600, and 950 Boots were bestsellers.
“We have always been supportive of Kanye’s work and our clientele really looks forward to what he creates,” said Dubreuil. “We have also seen a recent demand in the market for luxury sportswear and the pieces are quite functional, while remaining edgy, as well as being easy to layer in with the other brands we carry.”
For Wish, a streetwear boutique in Atlanta, the 950 Boot in the Moon Rock colorway was the first to sell out, according to Patrick Diaz, a buyer at the store, which carried 13 styles. Another hot item was the camo T-shirt, and the tees, tank and shorts are selling out.
Keith Tran, a co-owner at Black Market USA, a men’s wear retailer in Texas, said a line formed overnight at its Arlington store.
“By the time the doors opened in the morning, we had about 35 to 40 people in line with most waiting for over three hours. The first person waited 12 hours to shop the collection,” said Tran.
The store carried all four of the men’s colorways of the 950 Boots and 10 pieces of apparel. By Friday afternoon the store had sold out of all of the clothes, except for the coats.
Although the apparel from Yeezy Season 2 collection will not be produced by Adidas, each retailer said they would carry the spring 2016 line.