Like Father, Like Daughter: How North West Ended Up in a Pastelle Varsity Jacket

Luxury consignment boutique owner Justin Reed discusses how he sourced the varsity jacket from Kanye West's Pastelle that North West recently wore in Paris.

North West Pastelle Varsity Jacket

Image via Getty/Marc Piasecki

North West Pastelle Varsity Jacket

At just 9 years old, North West has already seemed to acquire her father’s love for fashion and fly fits. On July 5, North was spotted beside her mother Kim Kardashian in the streets of Paris wearing an outfit her father would surely approve of. Her black Balenciaga platform Crocs with silver plating and gradient Louis Vuitton 1.1 Millionaire sunglasses made for great accessories that also nodded to some of Ye’s various style eras. But the piece that had everyone talking was her jacket, the infamous Pastelle varsity jacket from Ye’s defunct clothing line. 

The blue jacket, complete with its red leather piping and yellow Pastelle logos, was first worn by Ye at the American Music Awards in 2008. Back then, the release of the first Pastelle collection seemed to be imminent. As we know now, the line ultimately never saw the light of day. A resurgence was briefly teased with stylist and designer Ian Connor at the helm back in 2016 that also never came to fruition. With no official retail release, the jacket has become a collector’s piece that gets tons of attention whenever it resurfaces. Luxury boutique owner Justin Reed sold one for $10,000 earlier this year to a professional soccer player. Reed also tracked down another Pastelle jacket for Kim Kardashian, the one North had on earlier this week, 15 years after her father wore it.

“With what I do, I’m happy to provide a service and be this guy behind the scenes who can connect the dots. So if it’s somebody looking for that full circle moment of, ‘Hey, I want his daughter to be wearing this piece and this is one of the first pieces he designed, one of the first brands he started,’ I’m happy to be a really small part of that,” Reed tells Complex. “I always wanna be that go-to guy for some of these clients like, ‘Hey, I can find anything. Let me know what it is.’”

While he couldn’t delve too much into the specifics of the exchange, we got a chance to chat with Reed about the process that went into sourcing this rare Pastelle jacket for Kardashian, if he would still want to see Pastelle get an official release, pulling the Hood By Air jacket for Ye that he recently wore on stage at the BET Awards, and more. Check out the conversation below. 

North West Pastelle Jacket

How did you first come into possession of that Pastelle jacket? 
So it’s actually my second Pastelle jacket. The jacket was a thing years ago and it kind of got off my radar for many years and it hasn’t really been in the market. Someone consigned it to us about a month back. I remember thinking it was cool at the time and everything, but I didn’t think much of it. We put it up for $10,000 kinda like, “Oh, this is never gonna sell, but okay.” We put some content out, and [the jacket] got like a lot of buzz and it did sell a few days later to a professional soccer player. So I shipped it out and that same day or the next day, Kim’s stylist [Dani Levi] reached out and said, “Hey, we’ve seen this jacket. Do you still have it? We’ll pay more. We really need the jacket.” That’s when I began to hunt for the second jacket.

So the one we saw North wear wasn’t the one you listed for $10,000 on your site?
No, that was a totally different jacket. 

Okay. So that first one sells for 10 grand. What is the process to acquire this next one once Kim’s team reaches out to you asking about it?
So right away I go back to the consignor and say, “Hey, do you have any more?” The consignor was somehow connected to the brand years ago, so I felt like maybe he had multiples. No [he didn’t]. 

Then, I go right back to the guy that bought it and I tell him like, “Hey, if it doesn’t fit by any chance, I have a really good client of mine who wants this jacket. They will do anything to get it. Lemme know.” I offered the guy $5,000 more on top of his purchase price of $10,000 to get the jacket, so I could make it happen quickly. He didn’t want to sell. 

So then I started putting out IG posts on my story. I came across a few people with a jacket and all these people had it for many years. I was throwing out fat numbers, high prices to them, to buy it. No one was budging. It was like a week or two of this, going back and forth with these people. I was offering a really high price. I felt like it’d be a no-brainer like, “Sure. It’s been sitting in my closet.” It was just people who were collecting. It wasn’t necessarily people who were wealthy. It was just normal people who had some cool stuff, and it was a large amount of money. 

A few more weeks passed. I really wanted to come through and be able to get this jacket, but no one wanted to sell it to me. And then a breakthrough happened. A guy whom I’ve done business with before hit me out of the blue, and he had the jacket and some other stuff. We worked out a deal.

Are you aware of how many of these jackets are floating around? 
I don’t know. Loosely, we think in 2016 there were maybe around 50 of them made. But out of those 50, we think only a handful were sold and the rest are maybe sitting in a storage unit. It wasn’t for sale publicly. [The relaunch] didn’t happen and so now these collectors and archive guys and people who are into this stuff work their way like, “Hey, I’ll give you X amount. I want that jacket.” So it was probably a couple sold privately.

Kanye West Pastelle Jacket

So the one that North was wearing isn’t the same exact jacket that was worn by Kanye at the AMAs in 2008? 
This one came from Ian [Connor’s] camp. The [previous owner] bought it from Ian directly, or from the people that were working at Pastelle. Obviously, I don’t think it’s the exact one for one. Ye has so many storage units and things, so he could maybe have it and not even know where it is. Or someone could have taken it from him or something. I think the reason why she wanted it is because I don’t think Kanye had one or knew where his was. So it was like, “Oh, I’ll go to the aftermarket and buy one.” 

So you had to go on the search to find this jacket. When do you ultimately send it to Kim and her team? Is it a few days before Paris? Is it weeks ago? 
They got it a couple weeks ago. This was in the works like two months ago.

Are you dealing with Kim directly or someone on her team? 
I have a relationship with her stylist [Dani Levi]. But before her stylist even knew about Kim wanting this jacket, Kim and her assistant, I guess maybe from the internet, saw who had it. So I think her and her team randomly stumbled across me and this jacket via social media and kind of contacted me that way. And then when I got in touch, I said, “Hey, I actually have a relationship with the stylist.” So we worked it out from there.

Were they curious at all how you got your hands on this? 
Never, no. Just kind of like, “Hey, this is what we want. We’ll pay whatever. Just get it. We need it.”

Are you able to say what they paid? 

Did you know it was ultimately gonna be worn by North in Paris like that?
I had a clue, because they have shopped with us before; that some of this stuff was for the kids based on sizing and stuff. 

Was it cool for you to see that moment in Paris and everyone talking about how she was wearing it so many years after Ye, knowing you were a small piece of how that kind of came together?
Oh yeah, for sure. With what I do, I’m happy to provide a service and be this guy behind the scenes who can connect the dots. So if it’s somebody looking for that full circle moment of, “Hey, I want his daughter to be wearing this piece and this is one of the first pieces he designed, one of the first brands he started,” I’m happy to be a really small part of that. I always wanna be that go-to guy for some of these clients like, “Hey, I can find anything. Let me know what it is.”

Since you posted online that you sourced that jacket, have you been getting hit up by other clients or other customers trying to get their own? Have you seen a spike in interest?
I think people still care about the jacket and want it. People appreciate it. A lot of people who do want it already have it, like the collectors and stuff. I did see a spike. Not from this post but when I originally posted the jacket, the first go-round. A few of my ballplayer clients were asking like, “Hey, what size is it?” The first one I got was a smaller size, so a few of the NFL and NBA guys who were interested in it wouldn’t [fit it]. 

Pastelle Varsity Jacket

What are some of the other items that you’ve helped Kim and her team come across in the past? 
It wasn’t any sourcing. It was just on my website. But when I do come across some cool things that I think fit her aesthetic, I show the stylist and say, “Hey, I think this could be cool.” She either loves it like, “Hey, let’s get this,” or, “Hey, no.” So mostly it’s just shopping on my site and then as I go through my day-to-day, when I come across stuff that I feel they may be interested in, I show them.

You deal with a ton of rare and expensive items. Would you say this jacket is one of the rarest or most expensive pieces that you’ve had in your possession?
It’s definitely up there. I would say top 10. I wouldn’t say the rarest.

Are there any other old pieces that Kanye designed that are tied to him that you would like to possess one day or that you are always searching for? 
Yeah. The Celine Spring/Summer 2011 silk shirt he wore at Coachella. We had it before, but it’s long gone and I haven’t seen it since. It came in a few different colors. That is classic. I just love that aesthetic from that year: that silk, white patterned shirt with light wash blue jeans and the wrist jewelry. That was a time I really enjoyed in fashion. 

I always love the Louis Vuitton x Kanye West collab on the shoes. There were samples that were odd, one-of-one colors that didn’t come out. Even some of the Nike sample stuff. That was really cool. I would love to get my hands on some of that. Anything that was a sample or one-of-one worn by him like the Margiela masks.

Since the photo of North hit the internet, has Ye or anyone from his team reached out inquiring about it or have you spoken or dealt with him in any way regarding that?
I did pull an item for him. Nothing to do with the Pastelle jacket and nothing to do with this situation. Just a whole separate thing. It was for the BET awards, that Hood By Air jacket. That was from 2020. There was like a little bit of a revamp going on a couple years back. That was the 2020 collection. His people hit me up and they wanted that jacket. 

As a Kanye fan, would you like to see Pastelle ever officially get some sort of release so many years later?
I would love to see it happen. And maybe have North as the face of it. I think it would be perfect timing to bring it back to life and have it as a collection. There’s definitely a space for it in the market.

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