Kanye West's overpriced merchandise is just plain greedy

Wearing a band T-shirt is the ultimate way a fan can pledge allegiance to the band; it's a throwback to a time in your life you will always remember.

But what happens when your favourite artist inflates the price of a basic T-shirt all in the name of corporate greed – would you cross the line and buy one?

Well that's exactly what Kanye West did at Coachella Music and Art Festival in Indio, California on Easter Sunday.

After finishing his set to an astounding 50,000 people for an early morning performance at 7am, he urged fans to make their way to his merchandise stand – dubbed Church Clothes – where the asking price for a long sleeve T-shirt with the words Trust God and Holy Spirit written on it set you back approx. That's $310 Australian dollars.

The overpriced range didn't stop fans from buying it though; many claiming on Twitter they did so to later sell it on eBay for a large sum.

While other headline acts like Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino sold merchandise for US$35 for a short sleeve T-shirt, West was double or nothing for a range that included US$225 for a long sleeve sweater, US$165 for pants and US$50 for "Jesus Walks" socks. They sold out in minutes.

Peace, love and dollars

Band merchandise is a lucrative business, but West's blatant rip off for a basic fashion piece is a sign the joke is clearly on his fans. His latest appearance at Coachella (he hasn't played there since 2011, but did gatecrash in 2015 with a surprise performance) was less about new music and more about covering gospel songs and chanting his way through peace, love and corporate understanding.

If this is the enlightened age, West has certainly seen the green dollar sign.


Whatever lures you to the House of West to worship, his marketing team has a close eye on your purse strings, using ironic slogans to probe your bottom dollar – and it worked wonders.

Cashing in Coachella

Dressed in plain attire, West was surrounded by a stream of dancers and choir members robed in sweat pants and ponchos in neutral pink and mauve tones, which looked more Wild Wild Country cult over his usual sleek production.

The performance had more in common with Sunday mass than a full-blown stage show one might have expected; with some Twitter feeds reminding us that Charles Manson preached rituals in Death Valley's Barker Ranch – a mere four hours away from where West was high on a custom built hill convincing his own.

How much would you pay?

Fans were in two minds about the pricey merchandise, many using Twitter to voice their frustration. Whether it was a boss or bust moment certainly divided hundreds of those who took to social media.

Others argued his fans don't mind paying $200 for a Supreme T-shirt, why would they bat an eyelid at his merchandise line?

West's Baptist-like revival show had little to do with redeeming oneself and was more about profiteering on a merchandise range that was nothing short of fast fashion landfill the planet doesn't need right now. Amen.