Kanye West’s Yeezy line might be on sale again (sort of), but one place that his apparel will not be for sale is at the Gap. About eight months after the implosion of their partnership, the Gap announced that they are suing Ye in the amount of $2 million dollars for a breach of contract.
The Yeezy Gap apparel line deal, which included men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, was announced in 2020 and was supposed to last 10 years (with an option to renew after five) and generate $1 billion in annual sales.
The Gap’s lawsuit against West actually stems from another lawsuit against the Gap. According to court documents, a real estate company called Art City Center (which owns a building in Los Angeles that Gap had leased from them to be used as a storefront for the Yeezy line) sued the Gap for nonpayment. In the documents, Art City Center alleges that Gap significantly altered the property for the Yeezy store, but did not restore it to its original state. Since West was the party to formally end the partnership, Gap is using the lawsuit to get Ye to pay the bill to cover the costs incurred by Art City Center (plus additional fees).
Since the ending of the partnership, both sides have pointed fingers and claimed the other side failed to fulfill creative and/or contractual obligations. For the first 18 months of the partnership, only two products were released (for online sales only): a puffer jacket and a sweatshirt. In May of 2022, the Gap released the “Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga” line, a high-end line of 36 styles created in partnership with the high-end designer. However, the line’s cheapest items (t-shirts) started at $140 and hoodies were priced starting at $240- much higher than the Gap’s regular products.
There was also controversy over the display of the line at a Gap location in Times Square, where clothes were shoved in what appeared to be garbage bin bags throughout the store.
While the Gap’s stock prices initially shot up about 40% following the announcement of the partnership with West, sales had fallen about 10% from the year prior in the fall of 2022. While other economic factors could certainly be involved, the Gap reports that Ye was not fulfilling his contractual obligations while he claims the brand did not adequately promote and market his line.