Kanye West's Yeezy Partners with An Unexpected Clothing Label
We are familiar with the struggling clothing brand Gap, which exited Malaysia in 2018 when it shuttered its physical stores. It also closed stores in Singapore and Indonesia subsequently and we thought it was no more…until now. Recently, the brand made headlines again when it announced it was partnering with rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West to produce a new line marrying its American clothing classics with the rapper’s Yeezy designs.
The retailer Gap Inc and West’s Yeezy will introduce “Yeezy Gap” in the first half of 2021. Under West’s creative guidance, the new line will include “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points,” the statement said.
The companies noted that the deal brings West’s relationship to Gap “full circle,” saying the billionaire entrepreneur, rapper, designer and most recently gospel singer worked at a Chicago Gap store as a teenager.
“#WESTDAYEVER,” tweeted 43-year-old West, with a logo combining “YZY” with Gap’s signature navy blue and white.
YEEZY AND GAP FORM PARTNERSHIP #WESTDAYEVER pic.twitter.com/NyxgfYTjJM
— ye (@kanyewest) June 26, 2020
It is a collaboration West has long waxed poetic on: “One of my dreams was to be the head creative director of the Gap,” he told New York Magazine in 2015. “I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap.” He and London-based, Lagos-born designer Mowalola Ogunlesi also announced she would be the design director of Yeezy Gap.
Latching onto the star power of West is a major marketing score for Gap, which has seen sales consistently decline since 2013 and has scrambled to remain relevant in a rapidly shifting ready-to-wear landscape. Yeezy will receive royalties and potential equity based on meeting sales targets.
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In partnership, West and Gap will create a new Yeezy Gap offering. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ As the press release explains it, “under West’s creative direction, the Yeezy design studio will develop the new line to deliver modern, elevated basics for men, women, and kids at accessible price points.” (West will continue to produce the higher price point Yeezy collections independently.) ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Eventually, West will have a hand in in-store concepts and the design of the company’s e-commerce site. “We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his Yeezy brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” Mark Breitbard, Global Head of Gap Brand, said in the release. Earlier this year, Gap announced a collaboration with Telfar Clemens and in the past it’s hooked up Heron Preston, Balmain, and Stella McCartney on a popular children’s offering. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Yeezy Gap is different; it is said to be a 10-year deal. @bof
The 21-time Grammy winner West waded into the design world in 2007, when he launched his first line of high-end sneakers in collaboration with Nike. He severed ties with the American sports apparel company in 2013, saying his share of revenues was insufficient. He then launched a partnership with German sportswear giant Adidas and saw sales explode, hitting some US$1.5 billion in 2019, according to Forbes. In parallel, the celebrity entrepreneur has presented eight Yeezy clothing collections, with financing from Adidas.
According to Bloomberg, Yeezy’s sneaker side alone was valued as much as US$3 billion last year.
Source: AFP Relax News