Kanye West and Gap Ending Partnership

Kanye West told Gap he was breaking up his partnership with the company, The Wall Street Journal and The associated report report. The rapper’s attorneys sent a letter to Gap advising the company that Yeezy LLC would be terminating its deal. In the letter, seen by the Log and the AP, the lawyers say Gap failed to live up to the terms of his contract.

Gap has sent a letter to its employees, seen by Pitchfork, confirming that the partnership is coming to an end. “While we share a vision of bringing high-quality, cutting-edge utility design to everyone through unique omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, How? ‘Or’ What we are working together to realize this vision is misaligned,” Gap Chairman and CEO Mark Breitbard wrote. “And we decide to end the partnership.”

According to West’s team, Gap was obligated to sell 40% of Yeezy Gap merchandise in physical stores during the third and fourth quarters of 2021, and that Gap was contractually obligated to open up to five retail stores dedicated to Yeezy Gap products. by July 31, 2023. The letter states that Gap may continue to sell existing Yeezy Gap gear before ending use of the brand name. Earlier this week, the rapper, whose legal name is Ye, also said that he plans to end his collaboration with Adidas.

In a statement to Pitchfork, West’s attorney, Nicholas Gravante, wrote, “Gap left Ye no choice but to terminate their collaboration agreement due to Gap’s substantial non-compliance. Ye had tried diligently to resolve these issues with Gap, both directly and through legal counsel. He didn’t go anywhere.

“Yeezy Gap was launched to be a disruptive and highly creative company, which challenged us to think and operate differently, attracted new, younger and more diverse customers, and enabled our talent to provide a incredible work with unparalleled dedication, courage and creativity,” writes Breitbard. “We look forward to our upcoming Yeezy Gap launches and releases in the pipeline as planned. To the Yeezy Gap team, thank you…for your tireless efforts to grow this business – we’ll harness that same energy as we move forward.

West’s relationship with Gap has been tense for some time now. Collaborating with the company has been a longtime ambition for West, as the rapper worked for the channel as a teenager and has expressed his affection for the brand in interviews. Yeezy Gap was initially announcement in 2020 as an affordable clothing line with a 10-year contract. Shortly after, West declared that he had no board seat at Gap or Adidas, tweeting, “Black board seats matter.”

Yeezy Gap’s first article, an oversized jacket sold for $200, arrived in June 2021. The second product, a branded hoodie, debuted in fall 2021 for $90. Both models were exclusively available online. French luxury house Balenciaga burst onto the scene in 2022, culminating in a collaboration called Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga. In July, Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga pop-up performed at the Gap’s Times Square flagship store, marking the first time customers were able to see and try on the clothes. (West’s termination letter will not affect this collaboration.) In August 2022, West appeared on Fox News for defend selling its Yeezy Gap line in large black builder bags that some have criticized as resembling trash bags. Around the same time, the rapper accused Gap of copying his designs, including the Balenciaga collaboration. West announced plans to open Yeezy retail stores.

Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for West, Gap and Yeezy Gap for comment and more information.

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