Kanye West returns with what might just be the collaboration of the year
After four-month hiatus from Twitter, rapper Kanye West broke his silence by dropping a teaser image of a model wearing a red jacket and unzipping a duffel bag with discrete blue markings that alluded to a new project with Gap. Two hours later, something a bit more obvious hit the timeline: Gap’s signature square logo remixed to read “YZY” with the hashtag #WESTDAYEVER. The collaboration is titled Yeezy Gap and is set to make its debut in early 2021 under the direction of Mowalola Ogunlesi, the project’s design director.
According to a statement issued to The New York Times, the YEEZY design studio under Kanye’s creative direction will produce “modern, elevated basics for men, women, and kids at an accessible price point.” The direction from Kanye will also cover how YEEZY Gap is presented in physical locations and the Gap web store.
The connection between Kanye and Gap goes back quite a bit. He worked at the Gap in high school and his admiration for the brand has grown ever since. The brand has been referenced in the lyrics of his songs like “Spaceship.” An anonymous designer who worked with Kanye on his canceled Pastelle line said that as far back as 2009 the artist’s main focus was a collaboration with Gap. Ye told The Cut in 2015: “One of my dreams was to be the head creative director of the Gap. I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap … [I want] full Hedi Slimane creative control of the Gap.” He echoed a similar sentiment during his “Sway in the Morning” interview back in 2013 saying he had approached the corporation about a partnership before. “Our first night [on the Yeezus Tour] we sold USD83,000 in tour merch. Imagine if you take these thoughts and connect it with a corporation like the Gap.”
The Yeez Gap partnership is believed to be a 10-year deal that can be renewed halfway through . Mark Breitbard, the Global Head of Gap Brand, said: “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. The brand believes that, by then, Yeezy will bring in USD1 billion USD in annual sales. The deal will see YEEZY receive royalties and potential equity based on sales performance over the next decade.”
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