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Why style pop-ups are ruining shopping

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Jamie Carson
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We’ve all become accustomed to waiting in line to get into restaurants, clubs and theme park attractions, but would you ever join the masses and wait for a t-shirt you absolutely needed in your life? Let’s rephrase that: would you wait for 15 hours to get that t-shirt? Because that’s what happened at the launch of Kanye West’s 21 global pop-up shops this weekend, where fans started lining up in the rain to bag some of his limited edition merchandise hours before it even opened for its three day residency.

Back of the line

This seems to be a trend at the moment, and not just in the world of music merch. Just last Thursday Supreme launched their AW16 collection, and their Soho store store was an absolute monstrosity, with lines weaving around the streets of central London because so many people wanted to get their hands on it.

Why are we waiting?

Obviously the boredom of standing in line for hours on end is a pain, but with such demand for these limited edition premium pieces, not everyone can get what they want due to sizes running out. So even after spending your day bragging on Instagram like you’re having a fun time, you could end up empty handed by the time it’s your turn to enter.

Which is all the more infuriating when some people buy more than they need so they can stick it on eBay when they get home to pay for the piece they bought.

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Cashing in

As well as Yeezy, Justin Bieber, Drake and Justin Bieber have all recently jumped on the back of the limited merch trend, collaborating with high end stores and hosting limited pop-ups.

But are the clothes actually any good? In our opinion, definitely not worth the price tag. Would you pay $840 for Bieber’s plaid twill kilt? If the answer is yes, then you are either have rich parents or are some sort of drug baron, because no one needs an over-hyped streetwear kilt that some unappreciated designer has worked on that's only got the cost bumped because 'Purpose Tour' is stitched in the back.

Worth the likes

It is true that some pieces are slick though, like Kanye’s gothic gold printed t-shirts and Drake’s varsity jackets, but it’s nothing the high street isn’t doing for much cheaper, or you could even do yourself with a few patches and some glue.

It’s all about the exclusivity and experience of it more than the actual clothes; this almost ritualistic sense of queuing up with your mates, getting interviewed or papped for some niche blog about your style, blowing your monthly budget on one piece only a handful of people will have, then walking away with an empty pocket and a full bag, ready to boast and hashtag it all when you get round the corner.

But that's 2016 in a nutshell really.These days clothing isn't worth anything if it doesn't get you over 100 likes, a couple of new followers and the appearance that you're absolutely ballin', even though that money you just dropped was for rent and food to keep you alive. So let's hope this fear of missing out concept of premium shopping dies out before we do.

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Jamie Carson

When he’s not pretending to be on the front of an album cover, Online Style Writer Jamie Carson can probably be found criticising your fashion credentials. Follow Jamie on Twitter @_jamie89

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