What We Want To See From Kanye West's Yeezy Gap Collaboration

Kanye West will be releasing his upcoming Yeezy Gap collaboration soon. A "perfect" hoodie, domestic production, and more are some things we want to see.

Kanye West Wearing a Yeezy Gap Perfect Hoodie
Complex Original

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Kanye West Wearing a Yeezy Gap Perfect Hoodie

On June 26, 2020, Kanye West went on one of his now-infamous tweeting sprees. But this one, unlike some others, seemed to have a clear purpose. West was celebrating the #WestDayEver. He dropped a new single, unveiled a new website, and even released new Adidas Yeezys. But the #WestDayEver also marked the first day that the multi-hyphenate officially announced that he would finally be designing for his former employer, Gap, with an all new Yeezy Gap apparel line. He also announced Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi as the line’s design director.

Gap stock soared, and the team draped its Michigan Avenue outpost in Chicago, West’s home town, in a white cloth donning the Yeezy Gap logo, a to-the-point flip of Gap’s signature navy and white square logo that reads “YZY” instead.

Aside from the initial fervor of the #WestDayEver, information about Yeezy Gap has remained rather scarce aside from a few leaked shots of West’s proposed “perfect hoodie.” With the line’s debut looming, we decided to think about what we hope West is able to bring to the table with his latest venture in fashion. Here are some things that we want to see from the Yeezy Gap collection. 

Accessibility and Availability

Yeezy Adidas Sneaker Reseller

During a February 2015 interview with Ryan Seacrest on 102.7 KIIS-FM, West made the now infamous decree that, “Eventually everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys.” At the time, the promise seemed impossible. The Yeezy Boost 750 was days away from its limited debut and commanded a $350 retail price. Subsequent releases of the 750, 350, and early installments of the 350 V2 were similarly difficult to get because of their limited nature. But in 2021, it feels like West’s 6-year-old promise is finally coming to fruition. Adidas Yeezys are much easier to get today because of increased production and distribution. Customers no longer have to rely on a boutique raffle or local reseller for new Yeezys. They can stroll into their local mall and purchase them. 

With the infrastructure of a big box retailer like Gap behind him, we want to see this same level of accessibility from Yeezy Gap out of the gate. Yes, the debut collection, no matter how much they make, will probably be harder to get just based on the hype. But given the 10-year partnership in place, hopefully the line will be restocked for anyone who misses out on Day 1. As of 2019 Q4, Gap operates 583 stores in North America across 48 states. Coupled with an online presence and Gap’s belief that the venture will bring in $1 billion in revenue by the five-year mark, there should be plenty of opportunities to obtain pieces from the line without relying on the resell market. While retail prices for the collection have yet to be revealed, we also hope that items lean more toward Gap pricing and not the Yeezy apparel price point.  

“If I had the opportunity to design for Louis Vuitton now, I wouldn’t. Because the prices [are] just too extreme. And I don’t want to use my message to have kids saving up that much, you know, to be part of what the ideas are. You know, that’s the problem to me with luxury,” West said in a 2013 interview with Power 106. “I don’t agree with everything that H&M and Zara does, but one thing that’s good is they were able to break that idea that creativity and things you want have to cost, like, a million dollars.”

With Gap’s resources at his disposal now, maybe he can finally get his creations to the accessible price point he has long desired.—Mike DeStefano

A “Perfect” Hoodie

Kanye West Wearing a Yeezy Gap Perfect Hoodie

There might be few pieces of clothing more versatile and necessary than a hoodie. There are plenty on the market to cater to any budget or taste. Whether you want to pay $50 or $500, wear a simple heather gray hoodie or one stamped with your favorite brand’s logo, it is out there. The question we want answered is, has West really created the “perfect” hoodie, like he claims? West’s “perfect” hoodie is arguably going to be the most in-demand item from the first Yeezy Gap drop. It’s also the item we have seen the most about thus far. 

Yeezy x GAP “The Perfect Hoodie” pic.twitter.com/riTznmidBY

— Ovrnundr (@Ovrnundr) March 11, 2021

West has been photographed in various colorways, most notably a royal blue color scheme while walking the streets of Paris back in March 2020. The hood was up too, a good sign that these hoods aren’t going to squeeze your head like some other hoodies out there. There have also been a handful of leaked images on social media suggesting there will be other bright options like orange alongside the earth-toned palette we have come to expect from West’s apparel. The design appears to be slightly cropped and made of heavier material than a blank hoodie. No thin Gildan hoodies anymore. 

The most glaring issue thus far seems to be a lack of a front pouch. Now, if you ask me, a hoodie can’t be billed as “perfect” without a front pocket. Let’s hope there are hidden side pockets on these or something. That being said, a usable hood, substantial weight, and selection of colors are all strong boxes that appear to be checked. So, what can make West’s hoodie truly perfect? The price. Considering Gap already produces arguably the best budget-friendly hoodie on the market for only $54.95 (I’m wearing one as I type this actually), the price is important. If the Yeezy Gap hoodies hover around that range, we’re buying every color.—Mike DeStefano

Gap Collaborations With Kanye’s Friends

Tremaine Emory, Virgil Abloh, and Kanye West at a Fashion Show

Although America’s high unemployment rate has little to do with the aesthetic look of Yeezy Gap, it would be amazing to see Kanye West actualize his dreams to mass produce his clothing within the United States. Last year, West and Yeezy associates told a newspaper based in Cody, Wyoming that they planned to bring manufacturing jobs into the small town. According to Business of Fashion, West planned to produce a million pairs of shoes in Wyoming by the start of 2021 and also planned to kick off apparel production later this year. Matt George, a Yeezy business director, told Cody Enterprise that Yeezy Gap jobs would offer entry-level positions that provided highly specialized training. “We needed to start our Yeezy organization in Wyoming,” West told Cody Enterprise. “We were looking for a multi-thousand acre property.”

West is clearly serious about this since he’s already built an Adidas Yeezy sample lab, which was first revealed in 2019. Granted that Wyoming isn’t known to have a textile industry, and Cody is a small town with a population of 9,764 people, the region has faced a job deficit due to large employers within the energy and pharmaceutical sectors leaving the area.  Yes, West’s ambitions for domestic manufacturing are lofty like many of his goals. But if West succeeds, it would greatly help boost the town’s economy. We are also interested in West’s “seed to sew” plans. In West’s 2019 interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, he said he was building farms in Wyoming that could grow hydroponic cotton, wheat, and hemp to use for fabrics. If West is able to eventually source his materials and sew his clothing domestically, it would make Yeezy Gap very sustainable since it creates a shorter supply chain. Although it will take years, Yeezy Gap has potential to show the strength of domestic clothing production while also making inroads in sustainable fashion design.—Lei Takanashi

Yeezy Gap Concept Stores

Kanye West Jesus is King Merch Pop-Up

#YeezyGap in Chicago.

📸 @theyeezymafia & @JoshuaMellin pic.twitter.com/WULgFINlvS

— Complex Style (@ComplexStyle) June 28, 2020

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