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Kanye West to design Yeezy clothing line for Gap

Fans will soon be able to wear Yeezy Gap apparel from head to toe.
/ Source: TODAY

Gap Inc. announced Friday that the retailer is partnering with Kanye West to launch a new apparel line under his Yeezy brand that will launch next year.

The Yeezy Gap line is expected to debut in 2021.
The Yeezy Gap line is expected to debut in 2021.Courtesy of Gap Inc.

The new apparel line will be developed under West's creative direction and "will be designed for men, women, kids and baby with a highly edited assortment under the Yeezy Gap label. Core categories will be hoodies, tees, outerwear and bottoms," a Gap Inc. spokesperson told TODAY Style.

Kanye West is partnering with Gap to expand his Yeezy brand.
Kanye West is partnering with Gap to expand his Yeezy brand.Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

West, who turned 43 earlier this month, was named a billionaire by Forbes magazine in April. The publication reported most of the hip-hop superstar's fortune derived from his Yeezy sneaker empire, part of the brand that he retains sole ownership of and will continue to own going forward.

The Yeezy x Gap partnership comes on the heels of a June 2 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a Yeezy trademark on a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products, including makeup, hair dye, perfume and potpourri.

Although reports claim the Yeezy Gap partnership will be a 10-year deal, a Gap Inc. spokesperson told TODAY "that is not accurate. We intend for this to be a robust creative partnership with multiseason product development."

Gap's announcement isn't the first collaboration announced this year. Back in January, the designer Telfar Clemens announced a collaboration with Gap Inc. as well, posting on Instagram, "COMING SOON #GAPbyTELFAR" alongside an image showcasing both Gap and Telfar's logos.

A source for the Telfar brand, referred TODAY to a Business of Fashion article discussing the postponement of the collaboration and told TODAY: "We were not aware of the Yeezy collaboration, and we're still awaiting an answer from the Gap team as they had put our project on hold earlier this year due to COVID-19. We have not been paid the project since, despite numerous follow ups."

As for West, this isn't the first time the rap star has worked with the iconic American brand. As a teenager, West worked at a Gap store in Chicago as a sales clerk, according to a press release from Gap. But at the 2019 Fast Company Innovation Festival, West also revealed that he was fired for shoplifting.

West also rapped about his experience working at Gap in his 2004 song "Spaceship" from his album "The College Dropout." In the second verse, West says, "Let's go back, back to the Gap / Look at my check — wasn't no scratch / So if I stole, wasn't my fault / Yeah, I stole — never got caught / They take me to the back and pat me / Asking me about some khakis / But let some Black people walk in / I bet you they show off their token blackie / Oh, now they love Kanye 'Let's put him all in the front of the store.'"

West's Yeezy brand has already gained popularity under a partnership with Adidas. In June 2016, the German sportswear company announced an expansion of their relationship with West, to develop more footwear, apparel and accessories, including sport-friendly performance designs, after the success of the Yeezy for adidas Originals collection.

In a statement, Mark Breitbard, Global Head of Gap Brand, said, “We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his Yeezy brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership.”

A spokesperson for Gap also told TODAY that the new collection is expected to reach "millions of customers around the world through (Gap) stores and (Gap's) site."

Gap has been reopening stores across North America since May with safety precautions in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Store employees are required to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash and sanitize hands on a frequent basis.