To mark the launch, Ye, the brand’s visionary and multihyphenate creative force, released a music video for “Life of the Party,” a track from the Donda deluxe album he dropped in November. Launched on Mother’s Day on May 8, the video features his own childhood photos and “deepfake” visual effects that animate the photos and outfit him in the line’s latest garments, including black hoodies and outerwear. Also on Sunday, Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga debuted a TV commercial featuring the music video and upcoming collection.
The range will be available on the official Yeezy Gap site, as well as Farfetch, Mytheresa and Luisaviaroma on May 25.
Described as a “creative exploration” within the Yeezy Gap venture that launched in June 2020, the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga partnership was announced at the beginning of 2022 with the appointment of Balenciaga creative director, Demna, formerly known as Demna Gvasalia, to Yeezy Gap. Its first collection consisted of eight pieces centering on “timeless silhouettes” translated through the lens of Ye and Demna, and included the first Yeezy Gap denim. Other items included face coverings, pull-on boots, washed-black cotton logo hoodies, short-sleeve tees, long-sleeve tees and sweatpants. The release followed Ye’s “Donda 2″ performance in Miami, with merchandise that included Balenciaga-designed hoodies, tees and face masks.
The Donda album has proven to be a winning formula for Ye and his associated brands. Donda merch racked up a record-setting $7 million in sales from its first listening event in August, which Hypebeast said beat out previous record holder Taylor Swift, who grossed almost $7 million per show for her Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018. Retail analytics firm Edited also noted that the “Donda era” has inspired a range of streetwear trends, including gothic lettering, bondage dressing and post-apocalyptic themes. Following his denim-on-denim Paris Fashion Week look with then-girlfriend actress Julia Fox, Lyst searches for “double-denim” shot up 31 percent week-on-week.
Aside from Donda, Ye’s influence has significantly benefitted Gap’s bottom line. Marketing software firm Launchmetrics reported that, by September last year, Gap’s Yeezy partnership had already accumulated $34.9 million in media impact value since the collaboration was first announced. It expects revenue from the joint collection to top $150 million this year.