Kanye West and Gap strike 10-year deal for ‘Yeezy Gap’ apparel line

Kanye West and his daughter, North, at the Yeezy show in Paris in February of 2020. The Gap brand is partnering with Kanye West and Yeezy, his fashion company, for a new clothing line called Yeezy Gap that will be introduced in the first half of 2021, the companies said on Friday. Valerio Mezzanotti/The New York Times
The Gap brand, which has flailed in recent years as it struggled with an identity crisis, has a new idea for how to revive its fortunes: Kanye West.

The retailer is partnering with West and Yeezy, his fashion company, for a new clothing line called Yeezy Gap that will be introduced in the first half of 2021, the companies said Friday. Yeezy’s design studio, under West’s creative direction, plans to create “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points.” West’s “design vision” will extend to how the line will be showcased in Gap’s stores and online.

Gap is making a far bigger bet on Yeezy and West — a celebrity, creative entrepreneur, rapper and designer — than a typical designer collaboration. They agreed to a 10-year deal starting this month, with the option to renew after five years, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

At the five-year point, Gap is hoping Yeezy Gap will be generating $1 billion in annual sales. For context, Gap’s brand brought in $4.6 billion in global revenue last year.

Gap did not respond to a request for comment on the terms of the deal.

It comes as Gap Inc., which also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, aims to refocus its namesake brand, which has seen sales plummet in the past few years.

West, who worked at a Gap in his teens, has expressed deep interest in the brand for years, declaring in a 2015 interview that he would “like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap” and once dreamed of being its head creative director.

Yeezy merchandise on Farfetch recently included a $925 men’s graphic cardigan and a $241 women’s thermal sweater. At Gap, jeans and tops often cost less than $50 and are regularly discounted.

Gap will pay royalties and potential equity to Yeezy, which is solely owned by West, based on sales performance.

© 2020 New York Times News Service