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Kanye West Finally Ends Contentious Partnership with Gap

Although Gap still plans to complete the projects which are already in production, an email sent out Thursday by Gap CEO Mark Breitbard has confirmed that their partnership with the famous rapper and designer, Kanye West, has effectively ended. 

“While we share a vision of bringing high-quality, trend-forward, utilitarian design to all people through unique Omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, how we work together to deliver this vision is not aligned,” Breitbard wrote.

Kanye West’s lawyers reportedly sent a letter earlier this month notifying the company that Yeezy LLC will be terminating its 10-year-long contract eight years early. West’s partnership with the brand began in 2020, when just five years earlier, he had said, “I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of Gap.” 

West had high hopes for this collaboration. For him, this was an opportunity to make his clothing more accessible to a wider audience, not just by lowering the prices but also by placing his clothing in storefronts. For Gap, the benefit was clear; this would be an essential rebranding for a company that had struggled to maintain clientele in this digital era. An opportunity for the company to outlive the mall. 

However, the character of the partnership quickly left Kanye West dissatisfied. They had overpriced the clothing he had created in the collaboration and had then ripped off his designs to be sold at a lower price. Beyond the theft of his designs, many promises were not kept. 

The 2020 contract West had signed stipulated that by 2023 the company would have opened at least five exclusive Yeezy Gap storefronts. Yet, by the end of 2022, no progress had been made towards achieving that goal. 

West, who in his own right has elevated the company’s image through connecting Yeezy Gap with French Fashion House Balenciaga, has decided to invest his time into more fruitful ventures. 

“Everyone knows that I’m the leader; I’m the king,” said West. “A king can’t live in someone else’s castle. A king has to make his own castle.”

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