// Gap Inc and Kanye West are officially ending their partnership
// The partnership had the possibility of lasting 10 years and was set to generate over $1 billion in annual sales
Gap and Kanye West are officially ending their Yeezy Gap partnership, 8 years early, opting out of renewal after it was initially set to expire in 2030.
An attorney for Kanye West, who goes by Ye, formally notified Gap via a letter on Thursday that he was terminating their agreement involving the Yeezy Gap apparel line, citing breach of contract.
Some of those include failing to sell certain Yeezy clothes in Gap stores last year and opening stores that only sold Yeezy clothing. Instead, Ye is moving ahead with plans to open his own stores.
Ye 2020 signed a 10-year deal with Gap in 2020 to create a line of clothing under the Yeezy Gap brand and the first product from the line – a blue puffer jacket which appeared in Gap stores sold out within hours of launch in June 2021.
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“Gap left (Kanye) no choice but to terminate their agreement … Ye will now promptly move forward to make up for lost time by opening Yeezy retail stores,” West’s lawyer Nicholas Gravante Jr. said.
Although Gap Brand chief executive and president Mark Breitbard said in an internal memo seen by Reuters that the business would wind down the partnership with Kanye as the parties were not aligned on how to work together to deliver their vision.
Ties between West and Gap have been increasingly strained recently.
Three months after he signed the deal, Kanye threatened to withhold his line unless he got a board seat.
In August, Kanye criticized Gap and spoke to its executives directly: ‘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.’
That same month, Kanye came under fire after he made the decision to display his new Yeezy line in giant garbage bags within Gap stores after critics complained that he was mocking homeless people.
Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail described Gap as “a cautious company with a stale brand that usually eschews bold moves,” while characterizing Ye as “a radical innovator who loves to shake things up.”
“In some ways, Kanye was just too extreme for Gap,” Saunders said adding that West’s departure marks “a blow to the brand.”
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