Kanye West is terminating his partnership with Gap. Reportedly, Ye had his lawyers send the apparel company a letter informing the brand that he is on to the next one, and it’s their fault.
The Wall Street Journal reports that on Thursday (Sept. 15), the “Power” rapper’s attorneys sent a letter to Gap notifying them that Yeezy LLC is terminating their arrangement. Whether this is legal, we’ll surely be finding out.
Per the letter, Ye contends that Gap breached their contract by not releasing certain apparel and not opening planned retail stores. Currently, the Yeezy Gap by Balenciaga collection is in stores, with its latest drop being a $40 black keychain. Last month, Ye himself responded to criticism about how the apparel was being presented in stores—in construction bags.
“Look man, I’m an innovator,” Ye told FOX News in August. “And I’m not here to sit up and apologize about my ideas. That’s exactly what the media tries to do. Make us apologize for any idea that doesn’t fall under exactly the way they want us to think.”
According to Ye, Gap will be able to continue selling existing Yeezy Gap apparel and the letter doesn’t apply to the Yeezy Gap by Balenciaga line.
It was only just in 2020 that Gap and West announced their partnership to resoundingly enthusiastic reaction. However, recently Ye essentially went to war with adidas over creative differences and the Gap caught stray fire for good measure. According to Mr. West, Gap pilfered his designs and didn’t invite him to important meetings.
“Gap held a meeting about me without me?,” was a caption of a now-delated Instagram post that Ye let loose in late August.
For his part, Ye is lining up receipts. Per WSJ:
Gap was required to sell 40% of the Yeezy Gap assortment in brick-and-mortar retail stores during the third and fourth quarters of 2021, according to the letter, which was signed by Nicholas Gravante Jr., a partner with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.
The first item, a Yeezy Gap hoodie, went on sale in the fall of 2021, but it was only available on Gap’s website.
It wasn’t until the French luxury house Balenciaga got involved that products under the name Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga made their debut in stores in July 2022.
Gap was also required under the agreement to open as many as five retail stores dedicated to showcasing Yeezy Gap products by July 31, 2023, according to the letter. To date, Gap hasn’t opened a dedicated store, the letter contends.
The Yeezy Gap items are set to be available at lower price points (under $100) than the pricier Yeezy Gap by Balenciaga items. The latter includes $120 t-shirts and $240 hoodies.
Recently, Ye told Bloomberg News that after his contracts with corporations run their course he would “go it alone.” Ye’s adidas and Gap contracts are set to expire in 2026 and 2030, respectively. It seems like he wants that timetable moved up.
Gap has yet to comment.
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