Gap’s Shares Soar After Kanye West Inks Deal With His Yeezy Brand
Rapper turned business mogul Kanye West has inked a deal with the struggling retailer brand Gap Inc to produce a new line marrying its American clothing classics with the rapper’s Yeezy designs.
The new deal will see the birth of “Yeezy Gap” in the first half of 2021, the companies said Friday.
A collaboration with Kanye appears to have been what Gap needed as the brand posted hundreds of millions in losses in 2020’s first quarter.
Gap has also been struggling in recent years but with the partnership with Kanye announced, it witnessed a surge of up to 30 percent in its shares this morning.
Under West’s creative guidance, the new line will include “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points,” the statement said.
The companies noted that the deal brings West’s relationship to Gap “full circle,” saying the billionaire entrepreneur, rapper, designer and most recently gospel singer worked at a Chicago Gap store as a teenager.
“#WESTDAYEVER,” the 43-year-old tweeted, with a logo combining “YZY” with Gap’s signature navy blue and white.
It is a collaboration West has long waxed poetic on: “One of my dreams was to be the head creative director of the Gap,” he told New York Magazine in 2015.
“I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap.”
Kanye is one of the entertainment industry’s most bankable artists and Yeezy will receive royalties and potential equity based on meeting sales targets.
Yeezy’s sneaker side alone was valued as much as $3 billion last year, according to Bloomberg.
With a successful music career under his belt, Kanye’s sojourn into the design world began in 2007 when he launched his first line of high-end sneakers in collaboration with Nike.
He severed ties with the American sports apparel company in 2013, saying his share of revenues was insufficient.
He then launched a partnership with German sportswear giant Adidas and saw sales explode, hitting some $1.5 billion in 2019, according to Forbes.
The 21-time Grammy winner has presented eight Yeezy clothing collections, with financing from Adidas.