Just hours after his Jesus Is King album dropped on Friday (Oct. 25), Kanye West opened a three-day retail installation in support of his latest work. The two-room warehouse was nestled in a busy, smoggy industrial zone of downtown Los Angeles, a nondescript pitch black building bordered by the incessantly traffic-congested 10 freeway and an auto-repair shop.
After West shared a branded flyer for the event just minutes prior to its scheduled 12 p.m. opening time on his website, hundreds of teenaged and 20-something Yeezy devotees rushed to 1202 Mateo St. to line up for entry, which was granted to just a dozen or so fans at a time. Black clothing clad security guards circled the building, guarding the entrance and attempting to establish order amongst the chattering crowd.
Inside the comfortably air-conditioned space, attendees were greeted by white brick-lined walls, tall ceilings and dim lighting, the room's main attraction being a giant Sherp truck with its oversized wheels halfway submerged in a muddy pond. As explained by a rep for Bravado, the merchandising company that stocks and facilitates West’s pop-up and album-related clothing, the installation was intended to be reminiscent of Ye’s infamous Cody, Wyoming, hideout where he reputedly owns a fleet of Sherp trucks.
On one wall, dozens of different sized speakers were asymmetrically stacked and blaring the new Jesus Is King album, while the wall directly across had over 10 unique merchandise offerings hanging above a sleek white counter -- the very modern cash wrap where customers could make their purchase the Square app.
Fans had the opportunity to purchase high crew-neck T-shirts with Jesus figurine paintings and the words “Jesus Is King” embroidered across the front, as well as royal blue T-shirts, crew-neck sweatshirts, sweatpants, and ball caps emblazoned with "Kanye West," “33RPM LP,” and “AR1331,” mimicking the vinyl album’s cover, with prices ranging from $45 for the ball cap, to $160 for a sweatshirt.
While the majority of these items will reportedly be available on the rapper’s site, a collection of seven varying Yeezy shoes from Ye’s Adidas collaboration are said to be exclusive to the installation. Among these are the Yeezy 500 in three new color ways, a Yeezy 500 “High,” a Yeezy 700, a Yeezy 380, and Yeezy slides.
The next room in the warehouse was equal in size to the first, and boasted the same minimalistic grass-and-shrub installation that was seen at West’s album release and film premiere at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., earlier in the week, created by artist Meg Webster. The clumps of 10-foot-tall prairie grass and shrubbery woven amongst a gray cemented walkway perpetuated Ye’s religious desert theme, and saw attendees moseying around and taking pictures in front of the various plants.
The Jesus Is King merchandise experience will be open Oct. 25 until 8 p.m., Oct. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Oct. 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.