Hypebeasts with limited budgets were hit especially hard yesterday—the black Riccardo Tisci AF1s dropped, Supreme’s summer sale began, and Kanye West’s second (and purportedly final) collaboration with French brand A.P.C. hit stores. This time around, the release went a lot more smoothly. A bigger collection meant more products, and introducing big ticket items into the mix like waxed cotton biker pants, cozy Alpaca-blend sweaters, and fur-lined outerwear into the mix meant most consumers would have to pick and choose what to cop and what to pass on.
I arrived at A.P.C.’s Bond Street store around 10 a.m., and found only four people in line. The recently-opened shop is neatly tucked away on a relatively quiet cobblestone street in SoHo. It’s located in an unassuming-yet-monied neighborhood teeming with the type of low-key high-earners whose overall aesthetic aligns with the understated French brand. To hedge my bets, I walked down to the Mercer Street flagship store and saw the line was about 30 people deep. It paled in comparison to the line for the Riccardo Tisci Air Force 1s outside the re-christened Nike Lab (formerly known as 21 Mercer), where easily a hundred people were waiting. I headed back to the Bond Street store and the line had grown—by three.
Once the doors opened, it was clear from the get-go that the staff had figured out some clockwork process to get product in customers’ hands. There was also a steady trickle of people that started coming in after the line. There was no typical customer. You had basic dudes wanting to work in one or two of the pieces into their existing wardrobe, the hypebeasts who came in, grabbed one or both of the Airport Sweaters and left, but most people seemed to want to take in the collection as a whole first, examining each piece and trying to see what, if anything other than the “Kanye” on the label, made it special. I took an up-close look at every item, getting a feel for the fabric, fit, and whether Kanye West’s latest foray into fashion surpassed his previous exploits.