Kanye West Is Pulling Out of a Major Fashion Partnership Over ‘Contract Violations’

The rapper who goes by Ye has been publicly feuding with several fashion companies.

In the fifty-odd years that The Gap  (GAP) ‘s been around, nothing helped its “cool brand” image quite like partnering with Kanye West.

Back in 2020, star rapper who now goes by Ye first announced a 10-year partnership in which his Yeezy clothing line would be sold in Gap Stores. 

Gap stocks instantly soared by more than 30%, while some of the most popular items in the new line sold out within minutes of being dropped. Some of the most recognizable items from the partnership are a bright blue puffer jacket and foam running shoes popular with sneakerheads.

The Viral Sensation of the Yeezy-Gap Collaboration

Things appeared to be going well — in January, Ye posted agreements to expand the partnership to also include luxury fashion house Balenciaga on his social media.

But somewhere in the next six months, the Ye-Gap collaboration went awry. On Thursday, Ye and his lawyers reportedly sent a letter telling The Gap that it intended to end their working relationship.

The Gap, Ye’s lawyers claim, did not make Yeezy products available at its stores promptly enough or open a dedicated Yeezy Gap store as agreed upon in the contract.

“Yeezy notified Gap of its concerns in August and gave the company a contractually-designated 30 days to cure its breaches,” Nicholas Gravante, who is representing Ye in this matter, told CNBC.

If the pullout goes through, The Gap will still be able to sell Yeezy products in stores but need to take its name off them. It will, however, not affect the Balenciaga side of the collaboration, which is done through The Gap as the “Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga” line.

“Ye will now promptly move forward to make up for lost time by opening Yeezy retail stores,” Gravante said.

The Gap did not immediately return TheStreet’s requests for comment.

Ye’s Feuds With Corporate Fashion

In the last few months, Ye has taken to lashing out against corporate fashion and publicly feuding with companies. In a series of Instagram posts throughout August, he accused Adidas  (ADDDF)  of stifling his creativity and making decisions about the brand without his consent.

“It’s going to cost you billions to keep me,” Ye wrote in an Instagram post that was later deleted. His 10-year partnership with the sportswear giant is set for 2026.

While Ye first came to fame as a rapper and producer in the 1990s, he later rose up to be a major name in the fashion world with the 2009 founding of Yeezy and a number of high-profile collaborations with major houses.

With 17 million followers on Instagram alone, Ye can bring viral success to any brand he touches (he also regularly promotes younger designers) but is also known for quick changes of mood if he is no longer “feeling” something.

“You have to really give me the position to be Ye and let me do what I’m thinking, or I have to do the thinking somewhere else,” Ye says in a video of him talking to Gap executives he posted to his Instagram last month. That video was also later removed from Instagram.

Shares of The Gap were up day-to-day despite the news but the company has been floundering overall. Year-over-year, its shares are down by more than 60%. The partnership with Ye was instrumental in giving it new life and reviving its image at a time when its all-American look was losing popularity.

A Wells Fargo survey once estimated that The Gap collaboration with Ye could bring in as much as $1 billion in sales yearly.

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