Kylie Jenner has over 80 million followers on Instagram and 19 million on Twitter, and while the stats aren’t easily accessible, I believe 9 million+ on Snapchat. I knew it was going to be crazy when I made my way to the opening of her pop up shop at Westfield Topanga mall in Los Angeles on Friday, December 9th, 2016.
However, I was not quite prepared to see over 1,200 people in line by 8:30 a.m. And so began my chaotic day. Luckily, I had grabbed a peppermint mocha (with an extra shot) from Starbucks before arriving. Of course, that jolt of caffeine had a steep cost – an extra hour of time waiting, but it all worked out in the end, so who’s counting?
The initial scene was pure chaos. People were EVERYWHERE. The lines were filled, the balconies overlooking the shops were filled. It was hard to even move. Security guards seemed flustered as they maneuvered the vast and seemingly proliferating crowd.
Everything was on lockdown, and we weren’t even allowed to take pictures of the pop up shop’s storefront. The doors remained closed, with staff hurriedly shutting them as they stepped in and out of the shop before the opening, preserving the mystery of Kylie Jenner’s pop up creation.
Time spent waiting: 2.25 hours
We had missed Kylie earlier that morning, as she stopped by in casual clothes to greet the early birds around 8 a.m. But video crews documenting the event kept the crowd pumped up and screaming, much to the dismay of the luxury stores surrounding the pop up. Groups of maybe 20 people were let in at a time, and were allotted 20 minutes to explore the shop and make their purchases before the next group got their turn. Oh the virtues of American capitalism – it was a sight to behold, indeed!
Press trickled in, hoping to get coverage for their respective publications. Though Kylie apparently had the store on lockdown, saving the first few hours of shopping for her most dedicated fans.
Time spent waiting: 4 hours
I entertained myself chatting with fans who waited in line, getting to the mall shockingly early in the hopes of meeting Kylie. And some did. I, however, missed out on the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star’s appearances – the latter of which happened around 1 p.m – though I later caught both drop-ins on Snapchat.
Times spent waiting: 6.5 hours
Hours later, I finally had a coveted spot behind the silver queue reserved for those about to enter the store. I had my Kylie wristband and my camera at the ready. Stepping into the shop was like finally getting past the bouncer at an exclusive club.
DJs danced at the front of the store as they blasted hits from stars such as Rihanna and Drake. Neon lights lined the walls, with Kylie’s name illuminated in a bright pink glow. The back of the store featured a replica of Kylie’s actual bedroom, with a large bed covered in all-white sheets, pillows and blankets, and a decorative, furry grey throw. Coordinating nightstands sat on either side of the bed, topped with books such as the work of Tom Ford and a luxe, red candle.
Large, flat screen TVs were bolted onto either side of the bed as well, playing surprisingly risqué videos of a scantily clad Kylie posing solo, in bed with her rapper boyfriend Tyga, and in his lap, topless. The overall aesthetic felt a bit bold for a 19-year-old, though we are talking about a Kardashian, so I guess normal doesn’t really apply.
Kylie created a rainbow wall on the right side of the store, painstakingly stocked with the myriad shades of her lip kit. A similar display filled the back left corner, comprised of the star’s eyeliners and eyeshadow palettes. Workers in black and white Kylie T-shirts and Pumas hustled about the store, pleasant albeit a bit curt, though it’s hard to blame them considering the turnout. One rejected my request to snap a picture of me with my loot … though she did it with a smile?
I took a peek through the clothes but couldn’t see myself actually getting any use out of a T-shirt that showed the makeup maven baring her ass, so I moved on. Sweatshirts retailed at around $170 were a bit out of my price range, and though the seemingly most coveted item of the day – a Lip Kit Bomber jacket – was actually pretty cool, the $200 price tag scared me off.
READ MORE: The Indisputable Power of Kylie Jenner
A pretty Christmas display in the front left of the store had “ornaments” made of lip kits and other cosmetics items that shoppers could actually pluck right off of the tree. Kylie also had lip kit wrapping paper, which I admit was tempting, if only to see the look on my sister’s face if I gave her a Christmas gift wrapped in it.
In the end I snagged a Kyliner kit in black – which I had been thinking about for a while – a Mary Jo lip kit for a friend, a goofy, poofball keychain and a denim baseball cap embellished with the Kylie Cosmetics logo. Grand total? $109.00. Yup – it costs to be trendy.
Kylie did make a good show of it, though, and the shop was certainly an experience. And though waits are killer, the time limit allows you to really explore the shop without feeling like you’re getting trampled. I was prevented from wearing the cap out of the store – so much for that Insta pic! – as workers were required to bag everything up and seal it with a Kylie Cosmetics logo sticker. The silver metallic bags were stuffed with customized tissue paper, and a Christmas card “from Kylie,” wishing fans a “safe, peaceful, and happy festive season” and thanking them for their “support this year.”
Now, over six hours and $100 later after all is said and done, was it worth it? Well, maybe not. That does seem like a pretty steep price for four items. But I feel accomplished in a way, and seeing as I’m probably never actually going to take on that 5K I’ve been thinking about for years, I’ll take a win wherever I can get it.
Get a better look at the Kylie Jenner Pop Up Shop below.
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