His attorney, Nicholas Gravant, said in a statement Thursday that West had no choice but to end his collaboration because he alleged the retailer violated their partnership by not opening Yeezy-branded stores and distributing his clothing as originally planned, among other things.
West later appeared on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday, describing his frustration with the retailer.
“It has always been my dream to be in the Gap and to bring the best product possible to the masses,” he told the network, adding that he envisioned high-quality merchandise that could sell for $20. But he says he was ultimately unable to decide what price he wanted for the resulting set.
“Sometimes I would talk to men and leaders, and it would be like I was silent or something.”
The gap: the vision is not aligned
“We wanted to tackle the headlines today and the past several weeks related to Yeezy Gap. Simply… while we share a vision to deliver utilitarian, high-quality, on-trend design to all people through unique experiences with Yeezy Gap Brand, President and CEO Mark Brittbard said at Email: “Gap, how we work together to achieve this vision is incompatible.
In the memo, Breitbard said the retailer “has upheld our commitments through this partnership – and the teams have done so with the utmost integrity, overcoming obstacles and demonstrating incredible determination.”
“Yeezy Gap was launched to be a highly disruptive and creative endeavor – challenging us to think and act differently, attracting new, younger and more diverse clients… We’ll take the highly entrepreneurial new ways of working we learned through this process with us and as we We go forward.”
Now moving to end the partnership, Gap said existing Yeezy Gap merchandise will continue to be sold in the company’s stores and website. It also expects to continue selling upcoming Yeezy Gap collections—including a 2022 holiday collection priced around $100 or less—in the fall and into the first half of 2023.
“It was costly Gap’s failure to comply with its contractual obligations,” wrote Gravante, who co-chaired the litigation group at Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft. “Ye will now immediately move forward to make up for lost time by opening Yeezy retail stores.”
Gap shares fell more than 3.5 percent on Thursday.
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, wrote in a note that the collapse was “completely unexpected” and would not financially hurt Gap’s bottom line.
Saunders wrote, “Gap is a cautious company with an old brand that usually avoids bold moves. In contrast, Kanye is a radical innovator who loves to turn things around.” “While Kanye could have injected a dose of energy into Gap, the mismatch between the two visions meant frustration was inevitable. In some ways, Kanye was too intense for Gap.”
West recently told Bloomberg that it was time for me to do it on my own, adding that he no longer wanted companies to “stand between me and the public.”
– CNN’s Barriga Cavilanz contributed to this report
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