Kanye West Is One Step Closer to Becoming the ‘Steve Jobs of Gap’
How the rapper-turned-designer is revolutionizing the face of Gap with his latest Yeezy drop
$200: That’s how much Gap’s first piece of clothing with Yeezy is retailing for since rapper and fashion designer Kanye West inked a 10-year deal with the retail giant last year.
Limited edition crossover products often arrive with huge levels of hype and quickly attract a price to match. To date, we’ve seen everything from $90,000 Oreos to various pairs of shoes selling for thousands, including the Nike Yeezy 2 Red that was priced at $7,500. Brand collaborations typically drive high prices due to high demand and limited supply.
So, when Gap x Yeezy finally launched the first product in its highly anticipated line with a $200 price tag, its positioning at a relatively affordable price-point was surprising. The bright blue nylon puffer jacket, devoid of any type of fasteners on the front, launched for pre-order on Kanye’s 44th birthday to much fanfare. Over 50,000 hype-induced buyers descended on the launch site in the first 30 minutes — some of the highest levels of traffic ever experienced by the website — causing temporary crashes.
The presale sold out in a matter of hours, but Gap is allowing users to sign up for future updates, adding to the speculation that these collections may end up in stores. Gap hasn’t given out many details about how it will release the line, whether via one-off releases, or wider distribution. The jacket is expected to ship later this fall.
When the Gap and Yeezy deal was first announced on June 26th, 2020, Gap Inc’s stock price soared nearly 19%. The company has continued to rise on the back of its strong performance throughout the pandemic, and on launch day, Gap’s stock rose a further 2.9% to a price of $32.25. (Up from $12.07 on the announcement day a year ago). The reception is good news for both the company and West himself.
As Herbert Lui reported for Marker, should the Yeezy and Gap collab meet revenue targets, Gap will grant Yeezy 8.5 million common shares. At its current stock price, that stake would be worth a minimum of $100 million. With the deal, Gap hopes to build momentum to draw in new customers or entice long-time customers to return to its stores.
West famously said he wanted to be the “Steve Jobs of Gap.” With the collaboration off to a strong start, he may well have the same revolutionary effect on a brand that is doing everything in its power to remain relevant.
Can Kanye West make Gap famous again?