Kanye West doesn’t have enough money. And apparently the Gap is in the same unenviable position. So what are two broke ass bitches to do about it? Team up, that’s what! According to The New York Times, Kanye has just signed a 10-year deal with Gap for a line called Yeezy Gap, allowing you, the even broker, to help cement Kanye’s status as “Christian genius billionaire on paper but not actually a billionaire” for years to come.
The NYT reports that Kanye’s been a Gap-aholic for years. In a 2015 interview, he said he would “like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap,” which makes absolutely zero sense, and is therefore exactly on brand. However, Kanye’s new role is more like that of Genius Bar regional manager for the New York Metropolitan area of Gap. Gap isn’t turning the entire brand over to Kanye. They’re just giving him a little corner to help their plummeting sales. Still, it’s a pretty nice gig.
The retailer is partnering with Mr. West and Yeezy, his fashion company, for a new clothing line called Yeezy Gap that will be introduced in the first half of 2021, the companies said on Friday. Yeezy’s design studio, under Mr. West’s creative direction, plans to create “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points.” Mr. West’s “design vision” will extend to how the line will be showcased in Gap’s stores and online.
So I guess we can expect to see Kanye’s domes pop up in Gap stores nationwide with little displays of Gap Yeezy inside but you have to take a number and wait your turn to get in. Praise music will be playing and there will only be fun-house mirrors inside.
From the sound of things, Gap is in dire straits financially, so they are basically letting Kanye do whatever he wants.
Gap is making a far bigger bet on Yeezy and Mr. West, a celebrity, creative entrepreneur, rapper and designer, than a typical designer collaboration. They agreed to a 10-year deal starting this month, with the option to renew after five years, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, who was not authorized to speak publicly. At the five-year point, Gap is hoping that Yeezy Gap will be generating $1 billion in annual sales. For context, Gap’s brand brought in $4.6 billion in global revenue last year.
It comes as Gap Inc., which also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, aims to refocus its namesake brand, which has seen sales plummet in the past few years, closed more than 100 North American stores and struggled to define its place within the apparel industry. It, like other retailers, has also been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gap will pay royalties and potential equity to Yeezy, which is solely owned by Mr. West, based on sales performance.
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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
Good thing Kanye’s never done or said anything outlandish or controversial that might jeopardize the Yeezy brand, or otherwise proven himself to be unpredictable, unprofessional and reckless in any way. Solid investment there, Gap. Safe as houses (just not Kanye’s houses).
What focus! What dedication! What the hell am I reading! With clear-eyed and not at all solipsistic devotion to the brand like this, Gap is so very lucky to have him.