Style
Where the runway meets the street

When the prices for YEEZY Season 1 were revealed, many people were understandably shocked. Given Kanye’s grand declarations of making clothes for the masses and democratizing fashion, $600 sweatpants and $3,000 jackets were a bit of a surprise to say the least.

While there’s no doubting that the collection would be one of – if not the – most hyped of the year, that doesn’t mean it would be a resounding success when it hit the shelves. While on the one hand, YEEZY Season 1 generated a ridiculous amount of buzz, its extremely high prices meant that it was going to be realistically out of reach to a lot of Kanye’s fanbase.

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With that in mind, we hit up a few friends of ours to see just how well Mr. West’s latest clothing venture has been selling a week after it dropped. Of course, we don’t know how many units were available for each piece, but the following comments from stores selling the collection gives us a pretty good idea.

“Given the hype around the collection since its debut at fashion week, we knew it would perform well – and it has,” SSENSE menswear buying manager Federico Barassi told us. “As expected, the highest demand was for the YEEZY Boost 950 which we sold out of almost immediately. One week later, we continue to see steady sell-through on the ready-to-wear pieces.”

The Montreal high-fashion retailer added that their highest performing apparel pieces were camo tees and half-zippered hoodies – again, hardly surprising, as they were among the line’s most accessible garments.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results,” Daniel Todd, buyer at MR PORTER related. “We sold the majority of the collection on the first day. Based on the previous success of the footwear we knew it would do well, however the collection performed even better than we imagined.”

The luxury retailer also reported lightning-quick sell through for the collection’s tees and footwear, and while YEEZY Season 1’s outerwear prices came with eye-watering high-price tags, that doesn’t seem to have deterred MR PORTER’s wealthy clientele. “The more expensive pieces like the shearling did amazingly well too and weren’t far behind in terms of sales,” Todd told us, adding that they saw pretty consistent performance across all categories – with just a few jersey pieces and backpacks remaining at the time of writing.

Retailers we spoke to off the record all shared similar sentiments, citing quick turnaround on the drop’s camo tees and footwear, followed by the oversized hoodies and crewnecks. Such quick sell-through for a full collection – and an expensive one at that – in just one week is pretty astounding, although given the prestige attached to YEEZY Season 1, we imagine distribution was kept pretty tight.

And what of the future? “There’s no guarantee with anything but we’re hoping to see a successful second season,” Todd told us, adding, “the fast sell-through of the first season should fuel demand for more, keeping that momentum going.”

All in all, it sounds like Kanye’s latest foray into fashion is off to a pretty good start.

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Words by Alec Leach
Digital Fashion Editor

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin, where he leads Highsnobiety's digital fashion content.

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