UPDATED 6/29, 6:25 p.m. ET: Kanye, as well as Yeezy business director Matt George, spoke to Cody Enterprise about their GAP collaboration and creating jobs in Cody, Wyoming.
Kanye said that he was passionate about creating manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and said one of his goals is to create items that are "outside of space and time." He continued, "You solve a person before you solve the clothing item." Cody Enterprise points out there currently is no large-scale manufacturing operations in the area. In addition to manufacturing happening in Cody, Kanye said that there will also "definitely" be a shop in town.
The Jesus Is King artist went on to talk about his love for Cody, saying that he "followed the Holy Spirit" when he decided to move into town.
"I stay as obedient to Jesus Christ as a man can be and allow God to use me and do everything I can to not be in the way of the blessings," Kanye said. "Ways that he can use me – simply, I’m here to be of service and be a servant to Jesus Christ, to my wife and children, to my uncles, aunts and cousins, to my friends, to my community, and you know I got to do it to my country."
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Early Friday, West—using the hashtag #WESTDAYEVER—shared a photo in which clothes could be seen being pulled from a bag marked "developed by Yeezy and GAP." The bag also listed the frequent location of current-era West projects, i.e. Wyoming:
Shortly after sharing that initial photo tease, West confirmed the "partnership" with the release of a new logo:
Kim Kardashian West tweeted that the partnership is Kanye's "dream come true."
And following West's initial tweets, interest in the pairing was already measurably palpable:
"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," Mark Breitbard, Global Head of Gap Brand, said in a press release.
The Yeezy Gap line will consist of men, women, and kids pieces "at accessible price points" and is expected to launch in 2021. Additionally, the deal includes plans for West's "design vision" to also be utilized in the rollout of "expressions" in Gap stores and digital channels.
Per the New York Times, the deal is for 10 years, with an option to renew after five. Gap is reportedly aiming to be bringing in $1 billion in annual Yeezy Gap-generated sales by the five-year mark. West's Yeezy, meanwhile, stands to gain royalties and potential equity.
In another uplifting aspect of the Yeezy x Gap collaboration, the joint effort marks a full circle moment for Kanye. The music-fashion mogul dropped the official music video for his GLC and Consequence-featured "Spaceship" track of 2004. In the visual, Kanye labors through his menial mall job as a sales associate. The lyrics and video hark back to his experience working at the Gap in his Chicago hometown as a high schooler: "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."
Though the video is not embeddable from Yeezy's site, you can check out the newly released "Spaceship" visual here via YouTube.
And expert-level fans will recall that a GAP collab was previously mentioned by an anonymous designer from West's Pastelle era, who told Complex that—when he was brought in on the project—West's main focus at the time was elsewhere.
"When I got there, he was on the heels of a GAP collaboration," the designer said in the 2018 interview from Karizza Sanchez. "There were mood boards [at the Fairfax office] with Kanye's inspirations and sketches of different sunglasses, pants, and tops. [He wanted to] do something radical that GAP wasn't going to expect." West himself has also addressed the previous near-collab with GAP.
Earlier this month, West linked up with Pharrell Williams for a rare interview conducted as part of a special edition of i-D Magazine. During the discussion, Williams shared extended thoughts on the potential for history brought on by the COVID-19 era, ultimately prompting West to give his own take on how we all move forward from here.
For West, it represents an opportunity to readjust one's focus.
"I believe that things can be simplified," he said at the time. "We're over inundated with everything and now we have the opportunity to readjust and focus on the essential and the simple things."
West's most recent solo music project, of course, was the Christianity-themed 2019 release Jesus Is King featuring the singles "Follow God" and "Closed on Sunday." A sequel, seemingly featuring production from Dr. Dre, was later teased by West alongside a photo from the studio:
The Dre project was broached in a subsequent announcement post from Ye, who shared what appears to be a schedule of sorts for #WESTDAYEVER activities. The post teased the arrival of the Jesus Is King film, a YZY SPLY documentary, and the "Dr. Dre version" of the JIK album. West also mentioned the arrival of a video for "Wash Us in the Blood," a new track mentioned in a recent GQ profile as having some Yeezus-esque qualities.