There's a quiet intensity to everything having to do with The Weeknd and the launch of his Starboy capsule collection in at the trendy boutique Alchemist in Miami Beach last weekend was no exception.
Hats, T-shirts, hoodies, bombers, denim jackets and a few exclusive pieces were part of the limited edition merchandise available to hype The Weeknd's forthcoming Starboy album release. But instead of the throngs of tweens and resellers that swarmed the shop earlier this year for a Justin Bieber merchandise pop-up, those looking for Starboy wares were slightly older, many university-aged, giving serious thought to their purchases.
"I feel this album in general has a defined identity and it comes across in the merchandise," said Kahdeem DeSouza, a University of Miami student who heard about the pop-up on Instagram and on Saturday afternoon was buying a long-sleeved T-shirt and a baseball cap, which together came at under $100.
By then, said sales associate Inez Bonilla, many pieces were already sold out, including the $350 denim jacket and $220 bomber jacket.
And while it was far from a mob scene, merchandise was moving quickly. Those buying, said Bonilla, tended to be "fashion forward, young hipsters, sneaker heads."
"We had a girl trying on pieces and listening to The Weeknd on her headphones to really have the experience," Bonilla said.
She wound up purchasing the bomber jacket.
The Alchemist pop-up was part of a five-city global pop-up launch with merchandise company Bravado that also included sales at Complexcon in Long Beach, California, Selfridges in London and Opening Ceremony in New York and Los Angeles.
Most of the pieces were black, in keeping with Starboy's aesthetic, with often literally dark images: the back of one jacket had a drawing of The Weeknd (we presume) with a skeleton mask, surrounded by flames and carrying a red cross on his shoulder.
Check some of the pieces out below: