Daily 49er

Lana Del Rey pop-up shop brings fans one step closer to the music

The weeklong shopping experience saw long lines and pricey merch.

Long%2C+intimate+letters+from+fans+scattered+the+surface+of+the+rug+full+of+gifts+for+Lana+Del+Rey.
Long, intimate letters from fans scattered the surface of the rug full of gifts for Lana Del Rey.

Long, intimate letters from fans scattered the surface of the rug full of gifts for Lana Del Rey.

Miranda Andrade-Ceja

Miranda Andrade-Ceja

Long, intimate letters from fans scattered the surface of the rug full of gifts for Lana Del Rey.

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The black-shirted security guard only allowed 10 guests at a time to enter the windowed shop on Robertson Boulevard. As the morning drew into the early afternoon, the line of people waiting to go inside of music artist Lana Del Rey’s pop-up shop grew longer and longer. Once the group of guests were able to make their way past one security guard, another stopped them outside of tall glass doors and welcomed them to Del Rey’s pop-up shop.

Every guest was told they had 15-20 minutes to do whatever they needed to do, whether it was shop, religiously snap photos or bask in beauty of the moment. One of the store attendants told me that at various points in the day, the pop-up will see lines of people waiting hours to make their way inside. Some dedicated fans apparently waited for days at the grand opening for the chance to be ready and in line once Lana arrived.

From Nov. 24 through Dec. 2, music artist Lana Del Rey hosted a temporary pop-up shop that allowed fans and affluent adults looking to buy Christmas gifts for their younger loved ones to take a stroll through a store that looks more like a music video, take photos in front of an iconic rose backdrop seen in “Ultraviolence” and drop a couple hundred dollars on some merch.

Miranda Andrade-Ceja | Daily 49er
Within the pop-up shop, display merchandise hung from clothes racks identically.

The shop featured both vintage dresses designed by Del Rey which she wore during a number of appearances and shows as well as new merchandise inspired by her newest album, “Lust for Life.” Released earlier this summer, the “Lust for Life” merch included streetwear-inspired windbreakers, minimalistically-designed fitted shirts and classic zippo lighters sporting an “LDR” emblem. All items sold at Del Rey’s pop-up were available for purchase in-store only, leaving hundreds of thousands of Lana Del Rey fans outside of Los Angeles foaming at the mouth with jealousy.

The new “Lust for Life” line is that good. Rather than gravitating toward the same typically straightforward artist merch, Del Rey has taken great purpose in cultivating this line of pseudo-athletic wear. Aside from attire, Del Rey’s shop had signed ukuleles, visors and hats as well as a heart pendant necklace with a tiny golden spoon hidden inside.  

While I’ve been an admirer of Del Rey since my sophomore year of high school, I fell off the wagon in some sort of capacity after I learned that seeing her perform live would be moderately impossible for both financial and physical reasons. If you’ve ever sat in a cyber waiting room to secure a general admission ticket for your favorite artist’s show, you understand.

Which is why I ended up waiting an hour in line on a Wednesday morning. While seeing her live is next to impossible for me, the experience of an artist-created pop-up shop is the next best thing.

Let me explain: upon walking into the massive storeroom, any person familiar with Lana Del Rey will immediately spot the iconic neon “Del Rey” sign (seen in her “Lust for Life” tour cycle) posed behind a large stage set-up. Mics, amps— and Del Rey’s presence still lingering centerstage. To the left of the stage are a number of clean racks laden with merch for display only; shirts and puffy jackets and sheer fabrics galore.

Miranda Andrade-Ceja | Daily 49er
The massive neon “Lana Del Rey” sign as featured in her 2017 album, “Lust for Life.”

To the right of the stage is perhaps the biggest photo op for any Del Rey fan — a glamorous violet sofa with a bright neon sign reading “Lana Del Rey” overhead and a floor powdered with fake rose petals. The walls are made up of (fake) lush green hedge and (fake) rose blooms everywhere you look. It’s any flower crown girl’s dream, and I shamelessly posed on the sofa with a fake rose in my hand while my girlfriend snapped photos of me.

For one hour out of each day, Del Rey graced the storeroom of her pop-up shop with a visit. I was not at the pop-up shop during this hour, so I wasn’t able to see her myself — but I’m not mad. If I had met her, I might have p****d myself, and so I just spent too much money instead. I couldn’t blame myself, as Del Rey conveniently forgot to put price tags on her merchandise and I had no way of knowing how much I was spending until I was passing my Mastercard to one of the cashiers.

The clothes offered at the pop-up shop were clean and subtle with Del Rey-centric iconography. The white windbreaker first seen in Del Rey’s Instagram posts is a bold all white with a cursive “Lust for Life” embroidered in cherry red. They’re comfortable-looking clothes for the most part, and I didn’t feel the immediate anxiety of spending $80.00 on a white windbreaker because I was in such a state of excitement.

Near the entrance of Del Rey’s pop-up, a bright pink shag carpet was filled with offerings for the artist herself. Gifts, bouquets of flowers and handwritten letters left by fans who had also missed her presence filled the area. It looked more like an altar to some kind of religious figure. I found a scrap of paper in my bag and scribbled out a sentimental message in Sharpie.

Miranda Andrade-Ceja | Daily 49er
The pink shag rug full of gifts, flowers and pieces of artwork for Del Rey. Pop-up visitors left their offerings for the artist if she was not present during their shopping experience to receive personally.

The pop-up shop served as a haven for diehards, though many shoppers were devastated after learning that Del Rey’s custom designed vintage dresses were still out of stock. I wasn’t particularly mad about that, either, as I think Del Rey’s ‘60s mod-girl vibe has been stale since 2015.

Del Rey’s pop-up shop will close its doors permanently tonight, so if semi-exclusive fan merch is important to you (or a good photo op in front of a 100 percent artificial hedge backdrop), get to West Hollywood sometime between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

 

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