Gap is teaming up with Kanye West and Yeezy, his fashion company, for a new clothing line called Yeezy Gap, which will be introduced in the first half of 2021, the companies said on Friday. Yeezy’s design studio, under West’s creative direction, plans to create “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points.” West’s “design vision” will extend to how the line will be showcased in Gap’s stores and online. The parties agreed to a 10-year deal starting this month, with the option to renew after five years, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. At the five-year point, Gap is hoping that Yeezy Gap will be generating $1 billion in annual sales. For context, Gap’s brand generated $4.6 billion in global revenue last year.
Total Retail's Take: This unique partnership is a signal that Gap is serious about evolving its image from a staid, classic apparel retailer to a hip, young, cool brand. Kanye West gives Gap a connection to the Gen Z and millennial consumers the retailer is so eager to court. The question is will it work. West has enjoyed a level of success in his partnership with Adidas, and Gap is betting his celebrity status will revive interest in its brand as well. Gap is to be credited for thinking outside of the box and being willing to get outside of its comfort zone in order to turn around its business.
“While this announcement was unexpected, it's highly aligned with our view that Gap ownership and new management have taken on an ‘all options on the table’ mentality, and are highly committed to finding new and creative ways to unlock value from their portfolio,” Well Fargo analysts said in response to the partnership announcement.