Kanye West has has officially notified Gap that it will end its partnership with the clothing company, according to The Wall Street Journal. The tumultuous collaboration, first announced in 2020, has prompted West to voice numerous complaints on social media in recent weeks.
The deal between West and Gap was originally announced as a partnership to develop a clothing collection under the Yeezy Gap brand. On Thursday, West’s lawyers sent a letter to Gap to notify the company that Yeezy LLC was ending the deal. According to the letter, as shown by The Wall Street JournalGap breached the agreement by not releasing the clothing or opening retail stores as planned.
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Hours after the news broke, West appeared on CNBC where he said that working with Gap has “always been a dream” of his, specifically being able to sell affordable items that were “designed on par with the top fashion houses in the world. .” But West claimed that Gap didn’t let him set the prices and made the clothes much more expensive, while also expressing frustration with the aesthetic choices and how he was allegedly treated by executives.
“Sometimes I would talk to the kids, the heads, the leaders and it would just be like I was on mute or something,” West said. “Our agenda was not aligned.”
West, of course, used the opportunity to air some grievances and burn some earth as well. When asked if Gap had a chance to rebound from it, he quickly responded, “They only have one chance to be able to be a big player, what do you think it is? … They have one person on the planet who can save the Void.”
He later said, “Don’t bring in a leader and let him lead. Why should I argue with people who are paid by the Gap? I’m sorry, I won’t argue with people who are brokers than me for money.’
While no further collaborations will be released, Gap will still have the rights to sell existing Yeezy Gap products before they stop using the brand. It does not affect merchandise produced in collaboration with Balenciaga, which is also sold through Gap.
Under the deal, Gap was required to open “up to five retail stores” dedicated to showcasing Yeezy Gap products by July 31, 2023. So far, the company has not opened any.
West has been extremely vocal about his unhappiness with Gap. He has criticized the company on social media, accusing them of leaving him out of the creative process. Last month, West posted a video of himself speaking to Gap executives, saying, “You have to really give me the space to be Ye and let me do what I think or I have to do the thinking somewhere else.”
He added that he wanted to open his own retail stores. “We will be opening Yeezy stores all over the world,” West said on Instagram in August. “Starting in Atlanta.”
The first Yeezy Gap products arrived last year, including a hoodie that was only available through the Gap website. They were followed by the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line, which debuted in July. More products are scheduled to hit stores this coming fall and holiday season.
Along with Gap, West has gone public with his distaste for Adidas, with whom he has a 10-year contract until 2026. He claims they reneged on their deal, left him out of meetings and stole his Yeezy designs. “It’s gonna cost you billions to keep me,” West told the company on Instagram. “It will cost you billions to let me go.”
West has since wiped his Instagram of all but several posts promoting a collection of Yeezy “shades.”
Earlier this month, West said Bloomberg that he wants to do his future ventures independently.
“It’s time for me to go it alone,” Ye said. “It’s okay. I made money at the companies. The companies made me money. We created ideas that would change clothing forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner, the slides that changed the shoe industry. Now it’s time for Ye to makes the new industry. There are no other companies between me and the audience.”
He also issued a warning to both parties: “If these companies, if they want to play with me, I’ve been playing well up to this point.”
This story was updated 9/15/22 at 4:21 p.m. ET with excerpts from West’s interview about the deal termination on CNBC.
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