It looks like Kanye West is throwing his Gap collaboration in the trash. The rapper and fashion designer formally notified the company that he’s terminating his Yeezy Gap line, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Ye’s lawyers sent a letter to Gap Inc. Thursday (September 15th) saying that his Yeezy LLC is ending the arrangement, which launched in 2020. The letter, which WSJ viewed, alleges that Gap breached their agreement by not releasing apparel and opening retail stores as planned.
This news doesn’t come as a surprise, as Ye has publicly slammed Gap for allegedly copying his designs and minimizing his role in the creative process, “You have to really give me the position to be Ye and let me do what I’m thinking, or I have to do the thinking somewhere else,” he said in an Instagram clip aimed at Gap execs last August.
Despite agreeing to open up to five dedicated Yeezy Gap stores by July 31st, 2023, Gap has yet to launch even one. Per terms of the deal, the company will still carry the fall and holiday Yeezy Gap collections as planned before they have to cease using the name.
It is worth noting that Ye wasn’t the easiest person to work with. According to a report in the New York Times published in July, in the first 18 months of the partnership, Kanye produced only two products, and it was until the French luxury house Balenciaga joined the collaboration that a full collection was finally revealed. During his time with Gap, he also engaged in various side ventures, like running for president and releasing multiple albums.
Ye also faced some backlash last month when photos of a Yeezy Gap clothing display, in which piles of clothes appeared to be tossed in massive garbage bags, went viral on social media. Still, the rapper defended the display as an “innovative” attempt to make fashion more “accessible and informal.” And, because it has Ye’s name attached, the line still did well commercially.
WSJ further reports that there are similar contentions between Ye and his Adidas, which manufacture his popular Yeezy sneakers. “It’s time for me to go it alone,” Ye said in recent interview with Bloomberg. “It’s fine. I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner, the slides that have changed the shoe industry. Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience.”
So much for that whole “release all grudges” and “lean into the light” mantra he supposedly adopted following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.