How North West Ended Up in a Pastelle Varsity Jacket

At only 9 years old, North West already seems to have acquired her father’s love for fashion and ruffled haircuts. On July 5, North was spotted alongside her mother Kim Kardashian on the streets of Paris wearing an outfit her father would surely approve of. Her black Balenciaga platform Crocs with silver plating and her Louis Vuitton 1.1 Millionaire gradient sunglasses made for great accessories that also nodded to some of Ye’s different style eras. But the piece everyone was talking about was his jacket, the infamous Pastelle varsity jacket from Ye’s defunct clothing line.

The blue jacket, with its red leather piping and yellow Pastelle logos, was first worn by Ye at the American Music Awards in 2008. At the time, the release of the first Pastelle collection seemed imminent. As we now know, the line ultimately never saw the light of day. A resurgence was briefly teased with stylist and designer Ian Connor at the helm in 2016 which also failed to materialise. Without an official retail release, the jacket has become a collector’s item that gets a lot of attention every time it resurfaces. Owner of a luxury boutique Justin Roseau sold one for $10,000 earlier this year to a professional football player. Reed also found another Pastelle jacket for Kim Kardashian, the one North wore earlier this week, 15 years after her father wore it.

“With what I do, I’m happy to provide service and be that guy behind the scenes who can connect the dots. So if it’s someone looking for that full loop moment of “Hey, I want his daughter to wear this piece and it’s one of the first pieces he designed, one of the first brands that he created, ‘I’m happy to be a very small part of that,'” Reed told Complex. “I always want to be that kind of go-to for some of these customers like, ‘Hey, I can find anything. Let me know what it is.

While he can’t go too deep into the specifics of the swap, we had the opportunity to chat with Reed about the process that led to the sourcing of this rare Pastelle jacket for Kardashian, if he still wanted to see Pastelle. getting an official release, pulling off 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 smiling in her Pastelle jacket in the streets of Paris. Image via Getty/Marc Piasecki

How did you come into possession of this Pastelle jacket?
So this is actually my second Pastelle jacket. The jacket was a thing years ago and it went off my radar for many years and it didn’t really hit the market. Someone gave it to us about a month ago. I remember thinking that was cool at the time and everything, but I didn’t think much of it. We put it up for $10,000 kind of like, “Oh, this will never sell, but okay.” We have published content, and [the jacket] made a lot of noise and it was sold a few days later to a professional footballer. So I shipped it out and the same or next day Kim’s stylist [Dani Levi] reached out and said, “Hey, we saw that jacket. Do you still have it? We will pay more. We really need the jacket. That’s when I started looking for the second jacket.

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

OK. So the first one sells for 10,000,000. What is the process to acquire the next one once Kim’s team asks you about it?
So right away, I go back to the sender and say, “Hey, do you have any more?” The shipper was kind of tied to the brand years ago, so I had a feeling it might have multiples. Nope [he didn’t].

Then I go straight back to the guy who bought it and say, “Hey, if it doesn’t fit by chance, I have a really good client of mine who wants this jacket. They will do anything to get it. Let me know.” I offered the guy $5,000 on top of his $10,000 purchase price to get the jacket, so I could make it happen fast. He didn’t want to sale.

So I started posting IG posts on my story. I’ve come across a few people with a jacket and all of those people have had it for many years. I was throwing big numbers at them, high prices, to buy it. No one moved. It was like a week or two of that, going back and forth with these people. I was offering a really high price. I felt like it would be a no-brainer like, “Of course. It stayed in my closet. It was just people collecting. They weren’t necessarily rich people. It was just normal people who had cool stuff, and it was a lot of money.

A few more weeks passed. I really wanted to pass and be able to get this jacket, but nobody wanted to sell it to me. And then a breakthrough happened. A guy I once dealt with hit me up out of the blue, and he had the jacket and some other stuff. We made a deal.

Do you know how many of these jackets float?
I do not know. Basically, we think in 2016 there were maybe around 50. But of those 50, we think only a handful were sold and the rest are possibly in a storage unit. It was not for public sale. [The relaunch] didn’t happen and so now these collectors and archive guys and people who are into this stuff are working like, ‘Hey, I’m going to give you X amount. I want this jacket. It was therefore probably a couple sold between individuals.

Kanye West Pastel Jacket
Kanye West receiving the Favorite Hip-Hop Album award at the 2008 American Music Awards in his Pastelle jacket. Image via Getty/Vince Bucci

So the one North wore isn’t exactly the same one Kanye wore at the 2008 AMAs?
This one is from Ian [Connor’s] camp. The [previous owner] bought directly from Ian, or from the people who worked at Pastelle. Of course, I don’t think that’s exactly the case. Ye has so many storage units and things, so maybe he could have it without even knowing where it is. Or someone could have taken it from him or something. I think the reason she wanted it is because I don’t think Kanye had one or didn’t know where his was. So it was like, “Oh, I’m going to go to the secondary market and buy one.”

So we had to go looking to find this jacket. When do you finally send it to Kim and her team? Is it a few days before Paris? Was it weeks ago?
They got it a few weeks ago. It was in preparation two months ago.

Do you deal directly with Kim or with someone from her team?
I have a relationship with her stylist [Dani Levi]. But even before her stylist knew that Kim wanted this jacket, Kim and her assistant, I’m guessing maybe on the internet, saw who had it. So I think she and her team stumbled upon me and this jacket via social media and somehow 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 from there.

Were they curious how you got your hands on it?
Never, no. Just kind of like, “Hey, that’s what we want. We will pay anything. Just get it. We need it.”

Can you tell what they paid?
No.

Did you know it was eventually going to be worn by North in Paris like this?
I had a clue, because they’ve shopped with us before; that some of these things were for kids depending on size and stuff.

Was it cool for you to see that moment in Paris and everyone talking about how she wore it so many years after Ye, knowing you were a little piece of how that stuff turned out reunited?
Oh yes, of course. With what I do, I’m happy to provide service and be that guy behind the scenes who can connect the dots. So if it’s someone looking for that full loop moment of “Hey, I want his daughter to wear this piece and it’s one of the first pieces he designed, one of the first brands that he started,” I’m happy to be a very small part of that. I always want to be that kind of go-to for some of those clients like, “Hey, I can find anything. Let me know what it is.

Since you posted online that you got this jacket, have you been touched by other customers or other customers trying to get theirs? 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 want it already have it, like collectors and all that. I saw a spike. Not from this post, but when I originally posted the jacket, the first round. A couple of my ball-playing clients would ask me, “Hey, how big is he?” The first one I got was smaller in size, so a few of the guys from the NFL and NBA who were interested in it wouldn’t have made it. [fit it].

Pastel Varsity Jacket
The Pastelle varsity jacket sold by Justin Reed for $10,000. It’s not the jacket he sold Kim Kardashian. Image via Justin Reed

What are some of the other things you’ve helped Kim and her team uncover in the past?
It wasn’t sourcing. It was just on my site. But when I come across cool things that I think fit her aesthetic, I point to the stylist and say, “Hey, I think that might be cool.” She loves it like “Hey, let’s go” or “Hey, no”. So most of the time it’s just shopping on my site, and then as I go about my day, when I come across things that they might be interested in, I show them.

You manage a ton of rare and expensive items. Would you say this jacket is one of the rarest or most expensive pieces you have owned?
It’s definitely up there. I would say the top 10. I wouldn’t say the rarest.

Are there any other vintage pieces that Kanye has designed related to him that you would like to own one day or are still looking for?
Yeah. The Spring/Summer 2011 Celine silk shirt he wore at Coachella. We had him before, but he’s long gone and I haven’t seen him since. It came in a few different colors. It’s classic. I love that aesthetic from that year: that white patterned silk shirt with slightly faded blue jeans and the jewelry on the wrist. It was a time that I really liked in fashion.

I still love the Louis Vuitton x Kanye West shoe collaboration. There were swatches that were odd, unique colors that didn’t come out. Even some of the examples from Nike. It was very cool. I would like to get my hands on it. Anything that was a sample or unique piece worn by him like the Margiela masks.

Since North’s photo appeared on the internet, has Ye or anyone from his team inquired about it or talked or dealt with him in any way about it?
I pulled an object for him. Nothing to do with the Pastelle jacket and nothing to do with this situation. Just a whole thing. It was for the BET Awards, this Hood By Air jacket. It was from 2020. There was like a little overhaul going on a few years ago. It was the 2020 collection. His people hit me up and they wanted this jacket.

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