The Gap has released their second item from its collaboration with Kanye West’s Yeezy label. The new black puffer called a “go round jacket,” looks similar to the blue puffer jacket the two brands recently released together as well.
Insiders with Gap are hoping that these collaborations will help reverse all that was lost during the past year of the pandemic. Gap specifically lost about $62 million in the third quarter of last year, and they’re still trying to recover. The retail giant also announced plans to close 81 of its physical stores.
Once the initial collaboration with Kanye West was announced, however, the share price for Gap surged by 40%, adding $700 million to the brand. Wells Fargo recently released a report that showed Gap could become a billion dollar company if they continue their collaborative efforts with the Yeezy brand.
“The good thing for Gap is that Kanye still has enough fans for hoodies to drive sales. Yeezy, a label known for its elevated hoodies, will reap the benefits of the pandemic-led boom in comfort wear such as velour tracksuits and sweatpants. Before the pandemic,” says author and associate editor of Rap Pages, Ronda Racha Penrice.
Jeff Carvalho is the executive editor of Highsnobiety, a popular streetwear website, who recently claimed that this collaboration could send both brands to the next level.
“Kanye has always wanted a big mainstream platform to work on. Gap is about as mainstream as it gets in hitting the malls, and accessibility to the product has long been a mantra of his. Being mainstream is the new cool when it comes to lifestyle brands.”
“When his footwear line first launched he stated that everyone who wanted to get a pair would eventually be able to do so and that statement became true, which is very interesting in a culture that’s fixated on limited releases,”said Arby Li, editor in chief of men’s fashion website Hypebeast.
Racha Penrice discussed how regardless of West’s controversial past, this collaboration will benefit Gap as much as it will Yeezy.
“There’s already a payoff for Gap from a PR perspective. Despite his pro-Trump allegiances and his controversial slavery comments, both of which alienated fans, I don’t believe Yeezy X Gap sales will be effected,” she explained.
“He’s still a star and now Gap is benefiting from that. We are talking about Gap here and it’s been mentioned quite a bit on social media, not to mention by influential publications, so this looks like a promising partnership.”
“I spoke to Yeezy and he’s very, very focused on this incredible opportunity. [It will] provide balance for us both. With Yeezy becoming slightly more approachable while also giving Gap an edge it has been missing for some time now,” Sonia Syngal, Gap’s chief executive, told the Business of Fashion.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.