Can Kanye West save the Gap?06/26/2020
Kanye West has announced a clothing collaboration with the Gap.
The team up between West’s Yeezy brand and the retailer, which West hashtagged #Westdayever, will go live in stores in 2021 and will feature an affordable range of menswear, womenswear and kids’ clothes. Notably missing from the collaboration was any footwear which would impinge on his hugely successful collaboration with Adidas. The American retailer will be hoping that West’s star power will help the ailing brand, who reported a quarterly loss of $932m (£738m) in the three months to 2 May.
“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on aesthetic and success of his Yeezy brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” the global head of Gap Brand, Mark Breitbard, said in a statement.
Further collaborations will include “unique Yeezy Gap expressions” in Gap shops and on digital channels. The company released a promotional graphic featuring the traditional navy blue Gap logo replaced by the letters “YZY”.
The deal is for 10 years with an option to renew after five, according to the New York Times. The article states that the Gap is aiming to be bring in $1bn (£909m) in annual sales from the collaboration by the five-year point.
In an article for Paper magazine West said his appreciation for clothes began when he worked at the store aged 15 in Chicago. “When I was working at the Gap at 15, I don’t think I had any desire to actually make clothes but I always felt like that’s what I wanted to be around. I loved the fabrics, I loved the colours, I loved the proportions,” he wrote.
He rapped about his days at the store and the idea of “shopping while black” on the track Spaceship from The College Dropout. The track featured the lyrics: “Let’s go back, back to the Gap / Look at my cheque wasn’t no scratch … They take me to the back and pat me / Asking me about some khakis / But let some black people walk in / I bet you they show off their token blackie, / Oh how they love Kanye / ‘Let’s put him all in the front of the store.’”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that West had filed a trademark for Yeezy Beauty that will include makeup and beauty products alongside lifestyle products like pinecones and aromatherapy pillows.
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