Yeezy Gap products will still be available for the time being, but Ye is done working with the San Francisco-based retailer.
The last few months have been monumental for Ye in terms of his business dealings. Weeks of repeated Instagram posts included Ye calling out both adidas and Gap for their alleged misaction and broken promises. With The Three Stripes taking the brunt of this so far, Ye ended his tirade by posting a text message stating his legal team was asking him to “refrain from posting anything on Gap for another 10 days.” Surprisingly, he actually followed through on this as exactly ten days after he posted this message, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Yeezy is terminating its contract with Gap in a move that contradicts the report from Bloomberg just a few short days ago.
Yeezy Gap Problems
When his deal was announced in 2020, Gap had large expectations for the collaborative project as they were hoping for at least $1 billion in revenue from Yeezy Gap specifically after the first year, though the two got off on the wrong foot from the beginning. This came at a time when Ye was running for president and was beginning work for his latest album, Donda, out on his Wyoming property - developing countless samples and sharing them with the world via Twitter. Unlike other fast-fashion-esque companies, he was sampling at upwards of 10x the standard rate which tends to drive up costs and slow down production. His first creative director for the project, Mowalola, quietly exited her role under a year into the partnership after helping develop the first two items in the collection, the “Perfect Hoodie” and Round Jacket. Her replacement, Leonardo Lawson, helped straighten things out, yet products were still not coming at the pace expected of Yeezy.
At the beginning of 2022, Ye broke the fashion world by announcing a three-way deal between Yeezy, Gap, and Balenciaga with the idea of bringing the notoriously expensive French luxury house to the masses at an affordable price. Unlike the original Yeezy Gap hoodies which retailed for $80/$90, the Engineered By Balenciaga pieces skyrocketed to $240 with other pieces like long sleeve tees coming in at $140. The development of this collection that has yet to fully release was spearheaded by Demna, the current Creative Director of Balenciaga, and took place overseas with samples eventually being refined by the Gap team over in the states. Still, even with massive hype for this, the partners were still at odds.
Ye’s Legal Response To Gap
In a letter reviewed by WSJ, Nicholas Gravante, a lawyer for Ye, was quoted as saying “Yeezy notified Gap of its concerns in August and gave the company a contractually-designated 30 days to cure its breaches.” These breaches include not releasing apparel under the mainline Yeezy Gap brand in stores and failing to open up dedicated Yeezy Gap brick-and-mortar locations, the former of which was supposed to have 40% of products being sold in stores during Q3 and Q4 of the 2021 financial calendar. As for the retail locations, the San Francisco-based company was contractually obligated to open as many as 5 dedicated storefronts for Yeezy Gap products by July 31st, 2023. One has to wonder if it was even worth it for Gap to go forward with that agreement as there have only been two products released under the mainline Yeezy Gap name.
Under their agreement, the Engineered by Balenciaga items that appeared in select Gap stores fall under a separate contract and do not fulfill the original terms of the partnership as a whole. While Yeezy is looking to exit the contract due to these transgressions, Gap will still sell Yeezy branded products, and as stated before, the Balenciaga collaboration falls under a separate agreement and will not be affected. According to Gap itself, a new collection of mainline Yeezy Gap products is still expected to launch in stores during the upcoming F/W 2022 season and will be priced under $100, fulfilling the promise of affordable pieces for the masses that Ye so vehemently has proclaimed for years.
Yeezy After Gap
With this news coming right after Ye stated to Bloomberg that he would work with both adidas and Gap until the partnership was up, it seems the development of his dedicated retail locations will be the main focus. In a video shared on Instagram, a timeline was showcased that presented around a dozen or so locations across the globe that would consist of Yeezy stores selling products designed by the team, though where they would be manufactured is still a question we are all wondering. It may seem like everything is ending well, though legal battles can take time, so we’ll have to keep our eyes on this legal exit as it progresses. For continued updates on Ye’s legal battle, exit from Gap, and beef with adidas, keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app.