Inside Kanye West’s Yeezy partnership with Gap Inc

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Kanye West meant it literally when he said over the past year that he wants to be the new “Gap” of fashion. After years of discussions, the musical-artist-fashion-designer’s Yeezy brand and Gap Inc. have inked a deal that brings West’s clothing concepts to a mass audience, much like his Adidas deal did for his footwear.

The Gap-Yeezy deal cemented with a “YZY” logo that West designed with Gap Inc.’s signature blue box has been under discussion for “many years”, according to a person familiar with the plans. Friday’s announcement sent Gap Inc’s stock price spiraling upward nearly 25 percent in intraday trading.

It’s a boon for Gap Inc., a company that has struggled for years with a host of financial problems stemming from a lack of creative designs, flagging consumer interest, and an overabundance of stores. It’s also an affirmation for West, who has long felt that his business instincts have been undervalued by mainstream business. Gap Inc. operates in more than 90 countries, with a network of 3,300 company-operated stores and 570 franchise stores, as well as e-commerce.

The partnership lasts for 10 years. Under the terms, West will have full creative control and full ownership of the Yeezy brand. Gap Inc. will manufacture and distribute the apparel internationally and pay West a fee based on sales, a plan similar to West’s arrangements for Yeezy footwear with Adidas, which has been both highly lucrative for both sides and trendsetting.

The new YZY logo, which Kanye West designed with Gap Inc.’s signature blue box, has been in discussion for “many years”.

© Gap

After moving his creative studio back and forth between Cody, Wyoming and Calabasas, California, near the home he shares with his family, West has returned the design studio to the tiny, rural town of Cody, says a person familiar with the arrangements. All designs will come from the studio before moving into Gap Inc.’s global systems.

The collections, which are planned to hit stores in 2021, haven’t yet been conceptualized, but at their heart are what West calls his “perfect hoodie”, which he began designing two years ago. He and many of his friends have been seen and photographed wearing various versions of the heavy-duty, slightly cropped garment, which was produced only as samples in West’s studio and by Los Angeles Apparel’s factories in LA.

Inside Kanye West’s Yeezy partnership with Gap Inc

West has a long relationship with the 51-year-old brand, starting from Gap Inc.’s heyday in the 90s. He briefly worked there as a teenager, when a white T-shirt from the San Francisco chain was the ultimate cool. That brought Gap Inc. to his mind as West worked over the past year to design a new line of Yeezy clothing that he wanted to be widely available, affordable, and to fit the way he sees a modern lifestyle, West told me earlier this year.

Kanye West Gap YZY

West also idolizes brands such as McDonald’s that mass produce relatively high-quality products and sell them at affordable prices. His vision for Yeezy Gap clothing includes designs for men, women, and children.

West showed a tightly edited Yeezy collection clothing during Paris Fashion Week in March that was well received by the fashion press. That is not the collection that Gap Inc. will be producing, according to people familiar with the terms. But the soft, yeasty colors, amorphous shapes, and natural fabrics are very much a part of West’s aesthetic and are likely to point to the general ethos of Yeezy Gap.

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Christina Binkley for Vogue | All Rights Reserved

#Inside Kanye West’s Yeezy partnership with Gap Inc

#Inside Kanye West’s Yeezy partnership with Gap Inc

#Inside Kanye West’s Yeezy partnership with Gap Inc

#Inside Kanye West’s Yeezy partnership with Gap Inc


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