Hours after announcing he was cutting ties with the brand, the multi-hyphenate laid out the factors that led to the not-so-shocking decision. Ye, who inked a 10-year deal with the once-mighty retailer in 2020, said he had high hopes for the partnership, but felt as though he was misled and ignored by Gap executives.
“It was always a dream of mine to be at the Gap and to bring the best product possible to the masses,” he told CNBC’s Closing Bell, adding he had set out to produce high-quality products at affordable price points. “Obviously there’s always struggles and back-and-forth when you’re trying to build something new and integrate teams.”
Kanye said he had no say in setting the collection’s prices, nor did he approve some of the stockists and colorways.
He continued, “It was very frustrating, it was very disheartening, because I just put everything I had [into it]. I put all of my top relationships. … And sometimes I would talk to the guys, the heads, the leaders, and it would just be like I was on mute or something. Our agenda, it wasn’t aligned.”
Ye also claimed Gap failed to follow through its promise to build dedicated YZY Gap stores—an issue he previously raised on Instagram.
He went on to highlight his longstanding interest in fashion as well as his undeniable influence on “clothing language.”
“I like the word ‘language’ better than ‘aesthetic,’ because the language is the base [and] aesthetic is just a style,” he explained. “It’s a language that me and Virgil [Abloh] and Demna and Jerry Lorenzo and Matt Williams brought in streetwear—in this Marc Ecko’s Complex idea of what it is today, what high schools look like today.”
Ye continued, “Everyone knows that I’m the leader, I’m the king. A king can’t live in someone else’s castle. A king has to make his own castle.”
See Kanye’s full CNBC appearance up top.