Unpacking Kanye West's YEEZY Collaboration With GAP | The Good & Bad
Kanye West is working with Gap on a clothing collection, which will carry the name of his Yeezy fashion label. It is expected to be available for customers next year (2021). The two brands said the partnership will help them find "new audiences". Gap sales have been struggling in recent years, while Mr West has long expressed interest in selling his fashion to the masses. The partnership with the US retailer also represents a bit of a triumphal return for Mr West, who worked at the company as a teenager. Shortly after kicking off #WESTDAYEVER with the announcement of his Gap partnership, the American worldwide fashion purveyor saw a 42 percent stock surge as a direct result of Kanye West‘s YEEZY announcement. News of “YEEZY Gap” created a sudden stock-price increase that added more than $1 billion USD to Gap’s market capitalization, lifting it to around $4.8 billion USD. Despite the good news, Gap stock is still down more than 20 percent this year.
Nigerian-British designer Mowalola Ogunlesi will be the design director of Kanye West’s new Yeezy and Gap collaborative venture. Ye initially announced the new partnership with Gap on early Friday morning, with Ogunlesi later taking to Instagram to share the news. Mowalola is a Nigerian-British fashion designer who gained prominence for her work under fashion east.
Pre-pandemic, Gap had other collaboration plans in the work for this year with New York designer Telfar. After building anticipation for the collection with the press and a throwing a party during Paris Fashion Week in January to celebrate the collab, the tie-up was delayed and then called off in March as Gap struggled amid lockdowns and widespread store closures. Gap representatives told BoF the collaboration was indefinitely postponed. According to a source with direct knowledge of the conversation, Telfar and his team have not received any payment for the partnership, and initial samples that were developed for the collection remain in Gap's possession. A contract was never signed between Gap and Telfar before the pandemic lockdowns, according to an email reviewed by BoF, but in March, representatives for Gap offered to pay the Telfar team some portion of the $100,000 design fee for the project before communication between the entities stalled.
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