Kayne West is falling out of—not into—the Gap.
West aka Ye, is prematurely terminating his contract between his brand Yeezy and Gap Inc. according to a letter his lawyer shared with CNBC.
He claims that Gap failed to live up to the terms of the agreement such as distributing Yeezy products in its stores by the latter half of 2021 and launching dedicated YZY stores.
Just last week West told Bloomberg that he intended to end his collaborations with Gap and Adidas when his contracts with them expired in 2030 and 2026 respectively.
“I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner, the slides that have changed the shoe industry. Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience,” he told Bloomberg.
“Yeezy notified Gap of its concerns in August and gave the company a contractually-designated 30 days to cure its breaches,” Nicholas Gravante, West’s lawyer, told CNBC. He said Gap did not respond to the concerns.
West has also been vocal on Instagram sharing his beefs with the retailer. In August he accused the clothing giant of copying designs from the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collab for its own merchandise and accused it of holding meetings without him and cancelling a photoshoot he had planned.
The Gap-Yeezy partnership was announced in June 2020 and granted royalties to Yeezy based on sales. The first item, a $200 blue zipperless puffer coat, was released in June 2021 and sold out so quickly that demand for it ended up crashing Gap’s website.
More recently, the collaboration has been criticized on social media for displaying the items in trash-like bags instead of on hangers. “It’s bc we’re poor and he has to remind us that we can only afford clothes from the trash,” said one TikTok commenter.
Today’s announcement is a bit of a surprise since the rapper and entrepreneur hosted an impromptu Yeezy party on Tuesday night during New York Fashion Week where he hyped his still unreleased Yeezy x Gap sunglasses to celebrity friends Kaytranada, Winnie Harlow and Chris Rock, among others.
The end of the partnership is the latest bad news for Gap Inc., which is looking to fill an open CEO position and which just recently announced that it experienced a 10 percent drop in sales for its namesake brand in the second quarter of 2022.
One-time J.Crew boss Mickey Drexler might feel vindicated by West’s desire to ditch the brand. The former Gap Inc. CEO told Yahoo Live last year that he urged the “Donda” rapper not to “do the deal” because it “doesn’t make sense” for someone who’s “not a corporate person.”