Kanye West is certainly a divisive figure in modern America, but there is one thing many cannot deny: his undeniable success as an artist. He is so successful in fact, that both he and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, recently became billionaires as a result of their many different business, entertainment and musical enterprises. Today, both are fashion icons, and their presence in the celebrity culture of America is unmatched.
West has found success through his line of Yeezy shoes and apparel, originally released through Nike and later on more successfully sold through Adidas, after a falling out with Nike CEO Mark Parker. With the partnership with Adidas, West claimed he was allowed to “build something” and that something is now one of the leading forces of the fashion world. His patented Yeezy shoes are now highly sought after and sell for hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars, and the Yeezy brand is now a prominent force at the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. Yeezy brand clothing has never been affordable until now.
On June 26, West announced on Twitter that he and Gap have partnered for a new line of clothes called Yeezy Gap. West has said that he wanted to collaborate with Gap for years, proclaiming that he wanted to be the “Steve Jobs of Gap,” and even worked at a Gap store in his teens. West’s goal is to create “modern, elevated basics for men, women, and kids at accessible price points.”
His contract with Gap is set for 10 years, with an option for renewal at the five year mark. The company hopes to bring in $1 billion yearly in sales through the Yeezy Gap line alone by the five year mark. For reference, Gap made $4.6 billion in 2019.
Many were quick to dismiss this partnership as a bad investment, as Gap has been fading in popularity in the past decade, but this new collaboration might prove to be one of the best investments West has made in his business career thus far. While Gap might not be the most popular or profitable clothing brand on the market, it brands itself on having affordable clothing for all demographics, and Yeezy is one of the most sought after brands in the world.
With the two partnering together, West will draw in a whole new demographic of customers who hope to buy West-designed clothes without having to worry about spending hundreds of dollars, and Gap will have the ability to expand its audience and increase its revenue. While West won’t be selling Adidas-produced Yeezy products at Gap stores, that likely won’t matter to customers because they will still be drawn to the fact that they can buy a Yeezy brand shirt for $50 or a Yeezy brand jacket that won’t cost close to $1,000.
While some have their doubts about the quality and success of Yeezy Gap products versus the Yeezy Adidas products, there shouldn’t be a debate because West has one of the largest and most devoted fan bases in popular music, and consequently, his clothes are among the most desirable in the world.
Even though it is too early to be completely confident that this partnership will be as successful as West and Gap hope it to be, there is one factor that cannot be ignored, and that is the fact that West will be, once again, making waves in the fashion and rap industry. West is truly a brilliant mind, and while he has his many critics, he said it best when he declared, “I am a creative genius, and there’s no other way to word it.”