Is Yeezy the best clothing line ever? It’s safe to say its over-the-top, polarizing founder Kanye West would answer with a resounding, “Yes.” He launched the high-end line back in 2011, between the releases of his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus albums, with the level of pomp and circumstance we’ve come to expect from the critically acclaimed rapper and producer.
And over the years, his Yeezy releases, which he calls seasons, have become can’t-miss extravagant affairs. Truly, only West could get A-list celebrities to board a coach bus, ride all the way to New York City’s Roosevelt Island, and then sit outside for one of his fashion shows on a day that was so hot, it caused some of his models to outright faint.
In a little under a decade, the Yeezy line has solidified its place in the modern fashion world. Today, owning Yeezys is about as brag-worthy as possessing a Chanel jacket or Louis Vuitton red bottom stilettos — Cardi B would know. But now, through a partnership with mall outfitter Gap, West is shifting the scope of Yeezy from a status label to a fashion brand that more people can afford.
During this 10-year deal with Gap, West hopes to create “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points,” according to The New York Times. Aptly called Yeezy Gap, his Gap line offerings are no doubt going to be more accessible than his Yeezy shoes are.
Right now, owning Yeezys requires serious dedication. First, you have to stay abreast of when each style drops. Then, once debut day rolls around, you have to relentlessly refresh either Adidas’ site or West’s Yeezy Supply page in hopes of quickly adding a pair to your cart before they’re sold out — that’s assuming you can afford the sneakers, which cost upwards of $220 dollars depending on the style. Or, you basically have to know someone at Foot Locker who’s willing to set aside a pair for you, which is generally a strict no-no in retail. Either way, it’s safe to assume that Yeezy Gap styles are going to be much easier to get your hands on, as they’ll be produced in larger quantities and sold at more reasonable prices.
— ye (@kanyewest) June 26, 2020
This isn’t West’s first time working with Gap, though. Back in the 90s, at the ripe age of 15, he worked part-time at a Gap in Chicago. He attributes this employment stint as one of the moments in his life that piqued his interest in fashion. “When I was working at the Gap at 15, I don’t think I had any desire to actually make clothes,” West told Paper Magazine, “But I always felt like that’s what I wanted to be around. I loved the fabrics, I loved the colors, I loved the proportions.”
Although many of us would prefer to leave our first job days way in the past, West is stoked to be reunited with Gap. He announced the news of this partnership on social media in a true-to-Kanye, extra sort of way, sharing an image of Gap’s recognizable blue square logo with the letters “YZY,” re-imagining Gap’s usual branding.
Gap is also thrilled to bring West back into the fold. “We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his Yeezy brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” said Mark Breitbard, global head of Gap Brand, in a press release.
West’s Yeezy Gap styles are set to hit stores and the retailer’s website in early 2021. If you’re itching to add a little bit of Yeezy to your wardrobe this year, check out Sneaker News’ preview of the shoes he’s dropping this summer and fall. This way, you can mark your calendar, start saving up your cash and be poised to snag a pair when they go on sale.
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