Kanye West to end partnership with retailer Gap

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Image Source: XXL Mag

A once-celebrated relationship between the rapper Kanye West and the leading  clothing retail store Gap is coming to an end. Gap had hoped the alliance would revitalize its brand.

Mr. West said that the company had broken the terms of the agreement by, among other things, refusing to let his Yeezy clothing line have independent outlets.

When the deal with Mr. West, also known as Ye, was announced in 2020, it was heralded as perhaps revolutionary.

However, tension was evident.

A $200 (£173) puffa jacket that was the partnership’s debut product did not go on sale for a full year. This sparked rumors that Gap was annoyed by the tardy release of Yeezy products, including a basic hoodie priced at $90 and available in vibrant colors.

While this is going on, Mr. West has frequently criticized the business on social media, charging that it has stolen his designs, ignored his requests to join the board, and excluded him from meetings.

Gap, which has had internal conflicts, including the removal of its top executive this summer, declined to comment.

But its president and chief executive Mark Breitbard claimed in an email to staff obtained by the BBC that while Gap and Yeezy shared many beliefs, “how we work together to execute this ambition is not aligned.”

Nicholas Gravante, Mr. West’s attorney, claimed that Mr. West had attempted to resolve the problems with Gap but had failed. On Mr. West’s behalf, he wrote to Gap to inform them that the arrangement would be terminated on Thursday. He said that Gap gave him no other option but to end their contract. Ye would quickly move forward to make up for the lost time by creating Yeezy retail stores, he continued.

Mr. West has long had high expectations for Yeezy, which is known for its sell-out trainers, foam sliders, and boxy, oversized clothing in colors like beige and black. Before transitioning into the fashion industry, Mr. West first gained notoriety as a rapper in the 2000s.

When the 10-year agreement with Gap was announced in 2020, the company, which Mr. West owns, was valued at $2.9 billion.

Since then, the two businesses have partnered with the luxury clothing brand Balenciaga. When the latest fruits of that collaboration—a collection of black t-shirts, hoodies, and anoraks—went on sale this summer, they caused a stir because they appeared to be made out of big garbage bags.

Mr. West’s letter to Gap states that a separate agreement governs that relationship.

Additionally, Mr. West’s contract with Adidas will end in 2026.

Gap will eliminate 500 office jobs in the US and Asia

Gap, a clothing company, will eliminate about 500 office positions as it works to reduce expenses in the wake of declining sales.

This change comes after the company’s chief executive left in the summer after her efforts to turn around the business failed.

The company’s sales are down about 10% from a year ago. It also owns the Banana Republic and Old Navy.

While acknowledging layoffs in its operations in Asia, New York, and San Francisco, Gap declined to respond to the BBC.

At the beginning of the year, the company employed about 97,000 individuals, of whom 9% had corporate roles. Thus, around 5% of the workers would have been laid off.

It was stated that part of the headcount reductions would result from openings.

It follows the recent abrupt end of Gap’s once-celebrated collaboration with Kanye West.

Concerns about the state of the US economy, which has shrunk in recent months, are growing.

In recent weeks, companies like Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Abercrombie & Fitch have also announced layoffs.