*Kanye West’s place in music is secure, but the rapper may want to make room in the fashion world as his Yeezy Season 1 collection -maligned by critics – emerges as a bonafide hit with retailers and shoppers.
Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reports the fashion line, which was unveiled in February during New York Fashion Week and officially released Thursday (Oct. 29), has been picked up by more than 30 retailers in the U.S.
According to Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s and Chelsea Passage at Barneys New York, lines of consumers formed outside the company’s Madison Avenue flagship store on Thursday morning.. To ensure their place, a wristband to shop the collection was given out to customers on Wednesday night (Oct. 28).
WWD notes the Yeezy Season 1 collection was carried in at 16 Barneys’ locations and released on its e-commerce site at 10 a.m. Thursday. In addition, Barney’s picked 18 styles of apparel from the collection. Bestsellers include the black 950 Boot, which sold out first for $585 and the bouclé sweater, which sells for $1,690, Kalenderian said.
“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,” he told WWD, which acknowledged that Barneys will release a new colorway for the 350 Boost sneaker on Nov. 14.
The Yeezy 1 collection’s success is extending online as online men’s wear retailer Mr. Porter picked up 16 ready-to-wear pieces and two colorways of the 950 Boot. Overall, the demand for the collection has been “huge” with the site’s buying manager, Sam Lobban, saying that everything sold well across the board. Lobban added that the retailer will also sell the next colorway of the 350 Boost sneaker and could be “worn by anyone.”
“Aesthetically the collection works very well,” he said. “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 launch of the Yeezy Season 1 collection proved successful Thursday evening at The Webster in Miami, which counts the camo T-shirt, which retails for $235; the camo trenchcoat, which sells for $2,860; the coach jacket, which retails for $2,095; the destroyed sweater, which goes for $2,600, and 950 Boots as its bestsellers.
“We have always been supportive of Kanye’s work and our clientele really looks forward to what he creates,” said the retailer’s co-founder and chief executive officer Laure Heriard Dubreuil, who revealed the store bought about 30 styles of the Yeezy 1 collection. Bestsellers include the camo T-shirt, which retails for $235; the camo trenchcoat, which sells for$2,860; the coach jacket, which goes for $2,095; the destroyed sweater, which sells for $2,600, and 950 Boots.
“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,” Dubreuil shared with WWD.
In Atlanta, the 950 Boot in the Moon Rock colorway emerged as the first of the line to sell out at the streetwear boutique Wish, which carried 13 styles, according to Patrick Diaz, a buyer at the store. In addition to the camo T-shirt, other items selling out include the collection’s tees, tank and shorts.
“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,” Black Market USA co-owner Keith Tran said about the line that formed overnight at the store’s Arlington location, which carried all four of the men’s colorways of the 950 Boots and 10 pieces of Yeezy Season 1 apparel.
By Friday afternoon, the store had sold out of all of the clothes, except for the coats, WWD mentioned as it revealed that “although apparel from the Yeezy Season 2 collection will not be produced by Adidas, each retailer said they would carry the spring 2016 line.”