While much frenzy was made over the poor quality and extortionate prices of much of Kanye West’s Pablo merch when it came out alongside his St Pablo tour last year, there can be no doubting that it took the Streetwear world by storm.
Kanye’s limited edition merchandise products were only available from small pop up stores that came and went in a matter of days. Fans lined up for hours and days all over the country to get their hands on some of Kanye’s self designed pieces, with many leaving disappointed that the highly priced items were merely Gildan pieces with Pablo designs printed on them. While these complaints were understandable (why would anyone want to pay $95 for the same hoodie they could get for less than a quarter of that price without the print) they did not detract from the fact that Kanye’s Pablo merch design was truly a innovation in fashion that sparked a trend that still remains popular to this day.
The signature design of Ye’s Pablo merch, namely the intricate lettering across the back of his items, has been copied and imitated by many brands throughout fashion, even making it into high street brands such as H&M and Zara. The influence that this design has had has not gone unnoticed. With Kanye’s design being nominated by the London Design Museum for a Beazley Design of the Year Award. From mid October the museum will have Pablo merch and many other nominated designs on show, with Ye’s merch being featured alongside the likes of IKEA for innovation in furniture, and other forward thinking designers.
This is just the latest in what seems to be endless critical success for Kanye, and with Yeezy season 5 seemingly on the way very soon, it will be interesting to see if he can keep the train moving forward, and maintain his self professed position at the “number one spot” in fashion.