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The prices behind Kanye West's Sunday Service Merch

The drop released last weekend has been raising some questions around the rapper's design abilities

The prices behind Kanye West's Sunday Service Merch  The drop released last weekend has been raising some questions around the rapper's design abilities

During the past weekend, rapper Kanye West released new merchandise to mark the affair of his long-awaited Sunday Service at Coachella. The merch included jumpers, socks, t-shirts and pants, with spiritual slogans such as ‘Holy Spirit’, ’Jesus Walks’ and ’Trust God’ that were designed by YEEZY and Bravado in collaboration with the Cactus Plant Flea Market. Although the designs released during Coachella were pretty simple, what had people in shock were the hefty price tags which they carried.

One piece from the merch would have set you back as low as $50 USD for socks or as high as $225 USD for a tie-dye jumper. Compared to Kanye’s last Wyoming and Life of Pablo merches, the price tags are in fact outrageous. For the Life of Pablo merch, you would have only spent as high as $95 USD for a hoodie or $145 USD for the tie-dye Wyoming version. However, according to the Ye’s merch company Bravado, the difference this time around is that the previous marches were printed on Gildan sourced fabrics while the Sunday Service merch was actually printed on original Yeezy fabric. Although in comparison to Kanye’s previous album merchandise, this Sunday Service merch proves more expensive but against the original plain Yeezy pieces, the church merch is cheaper. A tie-dye Coachella jumper might cost you $225 USD,  but the original plain Yeezy version will cost you as high as $340 USD.

Instances like these are what raise questions as to the designer's ability as a fashion designer. There has always been conversation surrounding the worth of Kanye West as a designer since the very first release of Kanye West x Adidas Yeezy Season 1. Following the collection’s drop in 2015, and also season 2 later that year, speculation was made as to whether the distressed and in some ways average looking pieces the designer presented was worth the hefty price tags at which they were sold. Comparisons were often made to West’s designs to resemble the attire of homeless people. Although it might be debatable that following Ye’s release of his distressed pieces, it launched an entire trend for surrounding distressed clothing. Not to mention the release of his 2016-17 collection which helped in ushering the trend of sportswear as streetwear.

At times West really does seem to be coming from an artistic point of view — in the instance of his second collection released in 2014 with French denim label A.P.C, in a video that has since been removed from the internet, West spent nearly fifteen minutes explaining the inspiration, details and decisions behind the military-inspired collection. However, in some questionable cases like the Coachella merch, it can be argued that the rapper-designer seems to heavily rely on the weight of his name to sell ordinary pieces for exorbitant values. 

It all depends on the point of view of the consumer and one’s appreciation of Kanye West as a creative. The ride or die Yeezy fan will buy it, while the fashion industry and the rest of the world might have a harder time digesting the ratio of the design to the price tags. Which one are you?