Kanye West ends his partnership with Gap
Kanye West, who legally changed his name to Ye, ended his partnership with Gap on Thursday.
In 2020, the duo announced a planned 10-year deal for Ye to collaborate with the brand on apparel. A 2021 Wells Fargo analysis found the partnership could bring the brand $990 million in sales per year, according to CNBC.
According to the wall street journal, who first reported on the dissolution of the partnership, Ye’s attorney sent a termination letter to Gap on Thursday. This followed weeks of posts by Ye on Gap and another business partner, Adidas, on Instagram in now-deleted posts.
The news did not play well for Gap shareholders. Shares of the company fell 3.9% on Thursday morning.
Why Ye’s deal with Gap fell through
Gap interim CEO Mark Breitbard cited operational differences in a memo to employees Thursday.
“While we share a vision of bringing high-quality, cutting-edge, utilitarian design to all through unique ubiquitous experiences with Yeezy Gap, the way we work together to achieve this vision is misaligned,” said he said in the memo, according to CNBC. .
You were more candid. “I’m sorry, I’m not going to argue with people who are brokers than me about money,” he told CNBC. He also indicated on Instagram that he wanted more control over his Yeezy products in general.
On Monday, Ye posted what appears to be some sort of contract with Gap and Adidas (which is now deleted, as is his wont) that read “Welp, I guess the war isn’t over.”
On the same day, the New York Post reported that Ye would be using Alex Spiro as his attorney in his effort to break his deal with Gap — the same one that is part of the effort to get Elon Musk out of his merger deal with Twitter. .
Spiro’s attorney is a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
In 2020, when the deal was done, it was agreed that Gap would sell a full line of Yeezy Gap apparel in stores and online in the first six months of 2021, according to the New York Times.
The first product to emerge from the collaboration was a blue puffer jacket – in June 2021. The second was a hoodie launched in September 2021 which the company says generated the most single-day online sales in Gap history. .com, Insider reported.
Earlier this year, a collaboration between Ye, Gap and luxury fashion house Balenciaga made headlines as it was displayed in giant trash bags in stores.
Ye’s attorney told Gap he was ending the partnership because the company had failed to put certain products in physical Gap locations or build Yeezy-focused stores, CBS News added.
What each entity stands to lose
It was estimated last year that Ye was the richest black man in America. But much of his wealth is tied to partnerships with Gap and Adidas, CBS noted. He also publicly criticized Adidas.
Gap has its own set of issues. Its stock is down 62% since the same period last year. The partnership with Ye was meant to give the struggling retailer a boost, according to the NYT.
In the end, it could have been a bad game. Ye is someone who likes to “make things happen”, unlike Gap, Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, told CBS. “In some ways, Kanye was just too extreme for Gap.”