No one is surprised that Kanye West has announced he’ll terminate his partnership with The Gap
The unceasing outbursts must amount to something. For Kanye West, anger and frustrations do not just blow over. The Wall Street Journal just reported that Mr West, newly bearded and recently seen at Vogue World, has informed The Gap that he is ending their relationship, which had lately turn quite sour. His lawyer shared that a letter was sent to the retailer with the request to end the deal. And what seemed to be that correspondence was shared on Mr West’s Instagram page. “Gap left him no choice but to terminate their agreement,” the BBC quoted him saying in response to the American brand’s “substantial noncompliance”. Mr West will go on to open his own Yeezy stores. Gap’s obligations in their agreement reportedly include not only producing and distributing the co-branded products, but also the opening of free-standing YZY Gap stores.
Perhaps the once-raved-about partnership between the man and the brand was not destined to take off as previously imagined. This was to be a 10-year deal, which was thought to bolster The Gap’s sagging fortunes. Mr West has quite a history of dissatisfaction with many of his collaborators, including Nike. These past weeks, he has publicly made his objections and outrage with his collaborators known—they include Adidas. It is not clear why Mr West has been unable to solve his problems with these partners in the boardroom or why he preferred to blast those who have displeased him via social media, a practice that is corporate aberration. If grievances in his personal life can be broadcast to the world, those of his professional activities may not require different channels of blaring. Or, restraint.
Announced in June 2020, Yeezy Gap was met with highly encouraging reception. The first item—a puffer—that launched a year later was sold out in hours, after it was made available online. Last month, when a collection was finally available (rather than the single-style drops of the past) in actual Gap stores, shoppers were dismayed by how the high-priced products were sold: in what were described as ”bins”. Was this dumping of the merchandise, in fact, foreboding of what would be ahead for the collaboration? But, would The Gap easily let Mr West walk away? Or, would they be relieved to let him go, enough of his bratty tricks? Should Adidas be worried? Will, gasp, the world suffer?
Illustration: Just So