Nobody had a good 2020, least of all Kanye West. He spent approximately $12 million of his own money on a presidential campaign that resulted in a dinky 60,000 votes, and riled a lot of people in the process with his thoughts on everything from abortion to Harriet Tubman. When his divorce from Kim Kardashian was announced last February, it didn’t look like 2021 was shaping up to be much better, but, hey, you can count his new collaboration with the Gap as an early success.
On Tuesday, which just happens to be the rapper’s 44th birthday, the very first item from the Yeezy Gap line hit the web for preorder and in a matter of hours, customers were seeing a “sold out” notification. The jacket—a $200, cornflower blue unisex puffer, which doesn’t ship until fall—isn’t sold out quite yet (you might have to chill in a digital waiting room for a few minutes), but the high demand for a winter jacket that doesn’t even have a zipper it bodes well for the line’s future drops.
If this early release was, in fact, a way to gauge consumer interest in Yeezy’s wares, then it’s clear he’s still got the touch. A year ago, the Gap signed a ten-year deal with the Gap, but there’s been no other info, like when the line would be released, what the price point would be, and what the pieces would look like. Will all the looks be unisex? Will there be one or more collections a year? Will there be highly desirable Yeezy Gap sneakers? Both Kanye and Gap CEO Sonia Syngal have been absolutely tight lipped—and for Kanye, we know that’s saying something.
The whole thing seems like a good way to keep eyeballs fixed on the Gap’s website, since designer drops like this are often eaten up as soon as they’re served. As for Kanye, he is said to be getting paid in both royalties and equity, not that he’s hard up. His own brand, Yeezy, is valued between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion, not to mention that his sneakers and apparel are huge on the resale market. Gap will certainly enjoy the Yeezy bump, although the fast-fashion brand is already having a pretty good year: In the first fiscal quarter, Gap sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and the stock’s gained 130 percent in the last year.
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