When Kanye West was a teenager, he worked at a Gap retail store in Chicago. After having always said he'd visit his roots, the American rapper and cultural icon has now, under his billion-dollar label Yeezy, collaborated with the Gap.
With little notice, the first installment of the much-anticipated Yeezy Gap collection appeared, dropping on the singer's 44th birthday. Now available for preorder in the United States, the “Round Jacket” is a unisex, cobalt-blue puffer jacket made of recycled nylon. Some would say summer is a peculiar season to launch such an item but as Kayne's non-traditionalist, nonconformist, way of thinking dictates, it's actually, totally on brand.
Just last weekend, West was seen sporting the oversized blue jacket in Los Angeles, leading fans to believe this was a teaser of the collection to come. As any true Kanye fan would pride themselves on, they were right.
In a major move in 2020, Yeezy signed a ten-year contract with Gap. The collaboration will likely be fruitful for the American retailer, which has seen sales plummeting across its brands, which include Old Navy and Banana Republic, for years. According to the New York Times, Gap will pay West royalties and even potential equity, depending on sales performance.
Yeezy, known for its sneaker and apparel collab with Adidas, sees West as its creative director and British Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi as its design director. Even throughout the pandemic, Yeezy’s Adidas sneakers brought in major bucks for the brand, earning Yeezy over £130 million in royalties.
West has long desired to return to the Gap, a dream he has famously voiced in several interviews. In 2015, the rapper told Style.com: “I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of Gap.” He’s also mentioned the store in his 2004 album, The College Dropout, with the lyrics: “Let’s go back, back to the Gap.” Yeezy x Gap is truly a dream in the making.