Kanye West ends his collaboration with Gap and plans to open his own store

Posted on September 16, 2022 9:32 AMUpdated September 16, 2022 at 10:10 am

After the music industry, it is the fashion industry that Kanye West continues to shake up. The artist, music producer and fashion designer, renamed Ye, told Gap on Thursday that he was unilaterally ending his collaboration with the ready-to-wear brand.

The information was confirmed in stride by the general manager of the brand, Mark Breitbard. In a letter to the company’s employees on Thursday, it says that the management has “decided to end this collaboration” due to differences on the strategy to follow: “If we share the vision of a high-quality design, practical and of fashion for the largest number, we are not aligned on how to do this, “explained the leader.

He announced that several products, which were already in development before the breakup, would be released in the coming months. Wall Street reacted badly to this divorce and the title of Gap lost 3.64% only in the New York session on Thursday.

Yeezy stores

According to several American media, Kanye West notably criticizes Gap for the delays in the marketing of the products of the Yeezy range that he created for the brand.

Expected in the second half of 2021, according to him, they were finally put on the shelves in July 2022. A few unique pieces had been proposed before 2021. Ye also ensures that Gap has not fulfilled its commitment to open the dedicated sales points. . Yeezy Gap. “A king cannot live in someone else’s castle, a king must make his own castle,” Ye said in an interview with CNBC.

US media also say that the breach of the contract letter was preceded by another, sent by Kanye West’s teams in August, which gave Gap 30 days to meet its contractual obligations. “Go ahead to make up for lost time by opening Yeezy stores” warned his lawyer in the letter sent to the brand.

$1 billion in revenue

Announced with great fanfare in June 2020, this collaboration was well received and seen as one of the ways for Gap, a brand with an aging image, to revive it. According to the “New York Times”, Gap accounted for an annual turnover of one billion dollars only for Yeezy products in five years, the collaboration was signed for a period of ten years.

But in an interview with CNBC, the artist had confided shortly before the rupture of the contract that his relationship with Gap was “frustrating and discouraging”. Criticize the brand for offering too high prices. Kanye West saw this collaboration as a way to make his products accessible, after limiting himself to a limited series at high prices, financed by the German equipment manufacturer Adidas. The Gap collection is currently priced from $60 to more than $300 on the retailer’s website.

Launched in 2022, it took Kanye West’s clothing codes, that is to say loose clothes and dark colors, especially variations of the famous sweater in the head (hoodie), reference piece of the Gap catalog.

Struggling for several years, the ready-to-wear brand still posted, in August, a quarterly turnover down 10% in a year. Since October 2020, the group has been involved in the closure, in North America, of approximately 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores, another chain controlled by the company, which also owns the Old Navy and Athleta brands.

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