Money and Marketing: Kanye West pressures Gap for seat on board
Gap Inc. and Kanye West have debuted their much-anticipated Yeezy Gap line with a single item.
The US$200 recycled nylon jacket in blue is the first product to be made available to shoppers as part of a 10-year deal between the designer and the apparel retailer. It’s sized unisex and can only be pre-ordered in the U.S. and won’t ship until the fall.
Shoppers and investors alike have been waiting for the release of the new clothing line, which will eventually sell items for men, women and kids. When the deal was made public last June, Gap’s shares soared the most in at least 40 years. The stock rose less than 1 per cent at 9:44 a.m. Tuesday in New York.
It’s unclear when the entire line will hit store shelves, or why Gap decided to release a single product on Tuesday, which is West’s birthday. Gap’s top executives have provided only vague timelines for Yeezy over the past several months, after initially saying they had hoped to debut in the first half of 2021. Chief Executive Officer Sonia Syngal said on a conference call last month that it would probably launch sometime in the second or third quarter.
“We’re approaching this launch with deep intention and we expect to share more with you in the next few months,” Syngal told investors in May. “It’s the number one question we get.” Gap declined to comment further on Tuesday.
The San Francisco-based retailer expects big things out of its apparel partnership with West as it tries to gain the attention of younger consumers and replicate the success Yeezy has found with its sneaker line through Adidas AG. Gap sees billion-dollar potential in the business, according to bank documents prepared in February that were obtained by Bloomberg.