In 2020, Gap and West signed what was supposed to be a 10-year deal for West to design ‘Yeezy Gap’ merchandise to be sold in Gap stores. Based on the sale of ‘Yeezy Gap’ items, West would continue to receive royalties and Gap stock. The line proved to be an instant hit with shoppers, proven with the first Yeezy hoodie introduced a year ago, which sold out in less than 24 hours.
Despite the monetary success of the partnership, Nicholas Gravante Jr., West's lawyer, sent a letter to the retailer claiming that it failed to meet certain contractual obligations. West accused Gap of withholding certain Yeezy clothes in their stores and refusing to open stores that only sold Yeezy clothing.
"Ye had diligently tried to work through these issues with Gap both directly and through counsel (but) he has gotten nowhere," Gravante stated. "Gap left him no choice but to terminate their agreement."
On Thursday, West appeared on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” and again, expressed his frustrations with Gap.
“It was always a dream of mine to be at the Gap and bring the best product possible to the masses,” he said. During the interview, he expressed that he wanted the collection to offer premium items, for $20 and under, but was unable to set the price point he wanted.
“Sometimes I would talk to the guys, the leaders, and it would be like I was on mute or something,” he added.
Mark Breitbard, president and CEO of Gap Brand, confirmed the termination of the partnership.
“We wanted to address the headlines of today and the past several weeks related to Yeezy Gap. Simply put…while we share a vision of bringing high-quality, trend-forward, utilitarian design to all people through unique omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, how we work together to deliver this vision is not aligned,” Breitbard said in a statement. “And we are deciding to wind down the partnership.”
Breitbard also noted that the retailer had “throughout this partnership upheld our commitments – and the teams have done so with the utmost integrity, navigating obstacles and demonstrating incredible resolve.”
“Yeezy Gap was launched to be a disruptive, highly creative endeavor – one that’s challenged us to think and operate differently, attracting new, younger, and more diverse customers….. we will take the new, hyper-entrepreneurial ways of working we learned through this process with us as we move forward,” he added.
In recent weeks, West has shared his grievances with both Gap and Adidas in a series of now-deleted Instagram posts.
He accused Adidas, with whom he signed a partnership deal in 2014, of launching a Yeezy Day shopping event without his knowledge and claimed that Alasdhair Willis, the creative director of Adidas, would not meet with him.
“To the creative director of Adidas Alasdhair Willis.” his post read.” I’ve done songs with your father-in-law. How can you watch Adidas do what they’ve done to a fellow creative and not say anything and never even meet me or call me? Why did I have to do this in public?"
West will now focus all of his energy into opening his own Yeezy clothing stores.