It’s no secret that over the past few years once-preppy brand The Gap has been struggling, but their new partnership with Kanye West may get them out their slump.
According to the New York Times, the unpredictable fashion designer and rapper will launch a new clothing line called Yeezy Gap “that will be introduced in the first half of 2021.” Apparently, under West’s watchful and interesting eye, he plans to take the company away from their classic khaki’s to create “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points.”
Affordable? I’m leaning in.
“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, the company’s global head of brand, said in a news release.
Kanye is excited too, writing in all-caps, “YEEZY AND GAP FORM PARTNERSHIP #WESTDAYEVER,” on his Instagram page early Friday morning.
While Gap Inc. isn’t sharing any more details about this dream team collab, a source spilled the tea to the Times:
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.
These are serious lofty goals for the brand that also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic. The Times reported that more than 100 North American stores were closed (before the COVID-19 crisis) and the company has seen massive financial losses over the years. But things seem to be on the up. According to Forbes, this morning, stocks for Gap Inc have surged 40 percent in the wake of the deal’s announcement.
If anything, it’s an interesting relationship, especially since West once rapped about working for the Gap on his song Spaceship, from his debut album College Dropout. Remember: he encountered some racism by the hands of his managers. But he seems to have moved past that, as Complex tweeted a 2013 video of the Grammy-winner talking kindly about the Gap in a way that seems that he was manifesting his destiny.
Like many of you, I am very curious as to who will be leading these efforts with him and what the finished products will look like. So far, he’s tapped a Black woman, Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogenlesi to be the Design Director of Yeezy Gap.
Well-played. Just don’t tell your homie Donald Trump.
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