What’s behind “Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga”
After the success of the first drop in 2020, with the discussed puffer jacket’s online buying rush , Gap and Yeezy return, two years later, with the launch of Kanye’s collection (aka Ye). A courageous project that sees the American artist called to revive the fortunes of the company (after the continuous collapse of profits since 2013, Gap will be forced to close 350 stores by the end of 2024) and that aspires to the creation of a more “democratic” and high quality clothes, proposing once again the difficult marriage between streetwear and mass market.
Last July 21, in a pop-up in Times Square, it was possible to physically buy for the first time the collection that has delayed so much to arrive on the market. An occasion – lasting only one day – that has seen long lines to wait for the shop to open and that surely has made the company’s upper floors take a sigh of relief – although the “hype from pure reselling” phenomenon is always around the corner.
In this first phase of the collaboration was added, surprisingly but as Ye wanted, Balenciaga. The collection was presented as “Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga” and the role of Demna Gvasalia within this partnership had never been fully clarified initially, despite the designer – and Kanye’s close friend – finally contributed as a creative consultant.
It must now be said that, at the expense of commitment and excellent synergy, the partnership already seems to come to an end: “This was just step No. 1. He needed a starting point, and that was my challenge: to give him the starting point. But he is still miles and miles away from where he wants this to go.” Demna told the New York Times about Ye, for what would seem to be the first act of a complex work.
A very relevant aspect of this partnership, removed Balenciaga from the equation, is how this could be the result of a new business model adopted by the mass market, which is very reminiscent of the one consolidated by the various big luxury fashion houses’s creative directions, who choose and rely completely on creative directors’ abilities, considered today as proper celebrities.
Kanye West currently has a ten-year contract with Gap, able to guarantee the success of his great vision but also to foment the many skeptics who already wonder if this atypical operation, in the long run, will work. Adding provocatively: “Will Kanye West save Gap?”
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