Yeezy, Meet Gap: Kanye West Announces A New Clothing Line Partnership

Jun 29, 2020
Originally published on June 30, 2020 10:19 am
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The world of high fashion was rocked last week with an announcement nobody was expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPACESHIP")

KANYE WEST: (Singing) Let's go back, back to the Gap. Look at my check. Wasn't no scratch.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Yes, that's right. Kanye West is launching a new clothing line with the Gap.

KELLY: Yes, the Gap - maybe not the first place that comes to mind when you think cutting-edge fashion. Now, if you're wondering, Kanye West does fashion? Well, yeah. He's become a big name in clothing with his Yeezy brand.

KIM BHASIN: Yeezy, so far, is known for two things. It has its sneaker line with Adidas that routinely sells out, and there is Kanye's own couture fashion shows.

KELLY: That is Kim Bhasin. He's a luxury reporter at Bloomberg News. Despite the pairing between Yeezy and the Gap being a little unconventional, the markets seem to like it - really like it.

BHASIN: Investors hope that Kanye West is going to make Gap cool again. Shares rose 42% on Friday. That's the biggest intraday gain we have on record according to our Bloomberg data that goes back to 1980. It's obvious that at least investors think that this is going to do something for Gap.

SHAPIRO: OK. So Wall Street's happy and understandably so. Kanye's Yeezy line of sneakers with Adidas might be worth up to $3 billion according to Bloomberg. But still, the Gap?

BHASIN: Kanye seems to have a special place in his heart for Gap. He worked there when he was a teen in Chicago, so maybe that had something to do with why he decided to go with Gap.

KELLY: Fair enough. So from a designer who sells $300 sweatpants, maybe now something a little more accessible, and it helps the Gap out, too, says Bhasin.

BHASIN: This gives Gap kind of a cool factor. There's this halo effect that brands have. And through Adidas and Yeezy, Gap should feel some of that with that association.

SHAPIRO: The first set from this 10-year deal lands in 2021. No word yet on if Kanye's signature pink polos will be a centerpiece of the collection. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.