Kanye Ends Gap Deal: ‘A King Can’t Live In Someone Else’s Castle’
Kanye West has ended his partnership between his fashion brand YEEZY and Gap after two years. His lawyer confirmed the news with CNBC. In a letter sent to the retailer on Thursday (Sept. 15), West’s lawyer, Nicholas Gravante Jr. told Gap that it “failed to meet its obligations in the companies’ agreement. The agreement included distributing Yeezy products in its stores by the second half of 2021 and creating dedicated Yeezy Gap stores.”
“Yeezy notified Gap of its concerns in August and gave the company a contractually-designated 30 days to cure its breaches,” said Gravante. He added that Gap took no action on the concerns.
“It was always a dream of mine to be at the Gap and to bring the best product possible,” Ye told CNBC’s Closing Bell on Thursday. “Obviously there’s always struggles and back-and-forth when you’re trying to build something new and integrate teams.” The rapper mentioned that he was not involved in conversations involving color choices and couldn’t set the prices he wanted on his projects.
“It was very frustrating. It was very disheartening because I just put everything I had. I put all of my top relationships,” Ye said. “Our agenda, it wasn’t aligned.”
He was also disappointed that the clothing retailer did not open YEEZY stores as they were contractually obligated to. “Everyone knows that I’m the leader, I’m the king,” Ye added. “A king can’t live in someone else’s castle. A king has to make his own castle.”
Gap CEO Mark Breitbard confirmed in a memo to employees Thursday that the retailer would “wind down” its partnership with YEEZY. “While we share a vision of bringing high-quality, trend-forward, utilitarian design to all people through unique omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, how we work together to deliver this vision is not aligned,” Breitbard reportedly said in the statement.
“Important to know is that throughout this partnership, we have upheld our commitments – and the teams have done so with the utmost integrity, navigating obstacles and demonstrating incredible resolve,” he said.
In June of 2020, Gap announced its partnership with YEEZY which was set to continue through 2026. Ye, who solely owns YEEZY, would receive royalties and equity based on the sales. Gap also agreed to distribute 8.5 million shares to Yeezy as certain sales targets were met.
The Donda artist warned Gap they were next on his list, after a social media rant that attacked Adidas whom the rapper has a 10-year deal with.
“It’s going to cost you billions to keep me. It’s going to cost you billions to let me go,” West told Adidas in another since-deleted Instagram post, according to The Wall Street Journal.