Kanye West, the rapper, rancher, fashion icon, tweeter, and honorary Kardashian has signed a reported ten-year deal with Gap to produce a line of clothing dubbed “Yeezy Gap.”
Gap added $700+ million to its market cap as shares rose almost 19% yesterday.
Gap has had a rough couple of months…and years
- The rough months: Sales dropped 43% in Q1, and it’s being sued by mall landlord Simon Property Group for skipping rent payments during the pandemic.
- The rough years: The rise of e-commerce and fast fashion overwhelmed the khaki shorts and t-shirt look Gap rode to prominence in the ’90s.
Why do I think of this as co-creation vs. a traditional partnership, a sponsorship, or an alliance?
- Kanye, on the surface would appear to be an odd partner for Gap
- This relationship gives Gap, a perceived uncool retailer major style points
- Kanye gets a chance to bring his typically upscale fashion sense to the masses
- Kanye is also expanding his fashion domain expertise, as he has tapped Nigerian-British designer Mowalola Ogunlesi to lead the new co-creation opportunity.
- Gap must transform its brand to remain relevant; one way is to combine your deep domain expertise in mass production, marketing, and retail distribution with an entertainment icon who will challenge your status quo, assumptions on style, and help you enter new markets