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 partner with the brand on apparel. Analysis of Wells Fargo in 2021 found that the partnership could bring in $990 million in sales for the brand per year, by CNBC.
According to the Wall Street Journal, who first reported on the dissolution of the partnership, Ye’s attorney sent a letter of termination to Gap on Thursday. This followed weeks of posts from Ye about Gap and another business partner, Adidas, on Instagram in now-deleted posts.
The news didn’t come across well to Gap’s shareholders. The company’s stock fell 3.9% on Thursday morning.
Why Ye’s Deal With Gap Broke
Interim Gap CEO Mark Breitbard mentioned operational differences in a memo to employees Thursday.
“While we share a vision to bring high-quality, trend-forward, utilitarian design to all people through unique omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, the way we work together to deliver this vision is not aligned,” he said. in the memo, by CNBC.
You were more honest. “I’m sorry, I’m not going to argue with people who are brokers than me about money,” he told CNBC. He has also indicated on Instagram that he wants to have 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 has now been removed, as is his custom) that read, “Well, I guess the war isn’t over yet.”
That same day, the New York Post reported Ye would use Alex Spiro as his attorney in his bid to break his deal with Gap — the same one that is part of the effort to get Elon Musk out of his merger agreement with Twitter.
Spiro 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 closed, it was agreed that Gap would sell a full Yeezy Gap clothing line in stores and online within the first six months of 2021, according to the report. New York Times.
The first product to emerge from the collaboration was a blue puffer jacket – in June 2021. The second was a hoodie that launched in September 2021 and which the company said generated the most online sales in one day in Gap.com’s history. Insider reported.
Earlier this year, a collaboration between Ye, Gap and luxury fashion house Balenciaga made headlines for being displayed in giant garbage bags in stores.
Ye’s attorney told Gap that he ended the partnership because the company did not place certain products in physical Gap locations or build Yeezy-focused stores. CBS News added.
What Any Entity Can Lose
Ye was estimated as the richest black man in America last year. But a fair amount of its wealth is tied to partnerships with Gap and Adidas, CBS noted. He has also publicly criticized Adidas.
Gap has its own problems. The stock has fallen 62% since the same period last year. The partnership with Ye was supposed to give the struggling retailer a new boost, according to the… NYT.
At the end of the day, it might have just been a bad game. Ye is someone who likes to “shake things up,” while Gap isn’t, Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, told CBS. “In some ways, Kanye was just too extreme for Gap.”