Kanye West and Gap will end their partnership, with 8 years remaining on contract

UPDATE – 9/15/22, 6:25 PM EST: Gap’s CEO, Mark Breitbard, confirmed in a memo to employees on Thursday that the retailer would “knock down” the partnership with Yeezy Gap, though it still has plans in place. implementation of the plans for the remaining products already in operation.

“While we share a vision to bring high-quality, on-trend, functional design to everyone through a unique omni experience with Yeezy Gap, the way we work together to make it happen, is how we work together to make it happen. This vision is heterogeneous,” writes Breitbard, saying Bloomberg.

Ye showed up via video call on CNBC Thursday afternoon to address the news, confirmed that he was not satisfied with the way Gap priced Yeezy products much higher than their standard line, or their progress in opening the Yeezy Gap store real. “My dream has always been to stay at Gap and deliver the best product possible,” Ye said, wearing a pair of YZY SHDZ sunglasses. “It is very frustrating. It was very disappointing thing, because I just ordered all I got. I put all my relationships first,” he continued, citing his relationship that involved Balenciaga creative director Demna on a capsule collection.

“Everybody knows that I’m the leader, I’m the king,” Ye concluded. “A king cannot live in someone else’s castle. A king must build his own castle”.

“I want to be the Steve Jobs of the Distance,” Ye, nicknamed Kanye West, told in 2015; 5 years later, in the summer of 2020, the rapper and designer will ink a reported decade-long contract with the mall retailer, which has struggled to adapt to the digital-dominated retail landscape. Since then, Yeezy Gap has seen hugely advertised and mostly successful sales debuts, Geometric curvy puffer jacket, “Perfect” hoodieand a capsule collaboration with French fashion house Balenciaga.

Now, two years into the deal, Ye’s lawyers have sent a letter to Gap informing the company that his Yeezy LLC will terminate the agreement, citing the retailer’s failure to release the clothing. or open brick-and-mortar stores as planned, according to a report published Thursday by The Wall Street Journal.

While such a definite expression of desire to sever ties may come as a surprise, it’s not exactly surprising: Ye has been particularly outspoken with her corporate partners since the end of the year. now. On Tuesday, he told Bloomberg that he’s ready to “go it alone” and ignore his ongoing dealings with Gap and Adidas, after accusing both companies of various crimes, including copy his design and Limited brand development, in recent weeks. In addition, as the The New York Times report back in 2020, Ye and Gap’s original contract included the option to renew or opt out after five years, though they’re still a few years shy of that standard. (Ye’s 10-year contract with Adidas expires in 2026.)

The letter comes not long after Gap announced its first direct retail concept in July, featuring a Yeezy Gap popup designed by Balenciaga. at its flagship store in Times Square. Ye talked about wanting her products to come to the store in person: in Julyhe wrote in a now-deleted Instagram caption that he “goes to Gap to put good products directly into stores,” adding at the beginning of September, in a now-deleted video, that he wanted the retailer to “put Ye’s crap at the front” of the store. (A nod, perhaps, to Dropping out of school halfway the song “Spaceship.”) His attorney’s application indicates an inadequate response to this initiative; every WSJ Under the agreement, Gap is required to open up to five retail stores dedicated to displaying Yeezy Gap products by July 31, 2023, according to the letter. So far, the letter states, Gap has yet to open a dedicated store.

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