MUSIC SNEAKERS & FASHION

Nur Abbas Joins Ye as Head of Design at YEEZY

Abbas will oversee direction across all of Ye’s projects, including YEEZY, YEEZY Gap and Stem Player apparel.

The billion-dollar-baby brand created by Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, just got that much better. It was announced Tuesday that former Nike ACG director Nur Abbas will be moving into head of design for Yeezy, a new position at the company.

The company said that Abbas “will work to further expand the Yeezy empire, working directly with Ye to direct and launch special projects for the Yeezy brand.”

Abbas will lead the charge on a series of West’s projects, including Adidas YEEZY Gap and Stemware — the latter, a clothing line dedicated to his Stem Player music device — as well as the merchandise associated with Ye’s music career.

He will report directly to the fashion mogul and musician.

Prior to this, Abbas had served as the design director for Nike ACG since November 2020. Before that, he worked as a designer for Nikelab Apparel, a head designer of menswear for Uniqlo in Paris, and as a senior menswear designer to Lous Vuitton and Gucci, respectively, for nearly 12 years.

With WWD, Abbas seemed to already have picked up on the YEEZY language — replacing words like “excited” with “energized” when speaking about the appointment. It’s reminiscent of the Wyoming Race phone conversation between Rick Rubin and Ye in Netflix‘s Jeen-Yuhs docuementary.

“I’m energized to work with Ye because he cares so deeply about design and moving culture forward,” Abbas told WWD. “At YEEZY and Gap, I’ve met some of the most talented people and teams, and I’m looking forward to working with them all to extend this new creative vision to the world.”

Important to note, too: back in June 2020, West signed a 10-year deal with Gap to create modern, elevated basics at accessible price points under the YEEZY Gap moniker.

The deal, projected to be valued as high as $970 million per Bloomberg, has produced two collections so far released under the YEEZY Gap as well as a capsule called YEEZY Gap Engineered by Balenciaga. The latter was a collaboration with Balenciaga’s creative director Demna, which released its first limited-edition, new Gap “box logo” — reimagined in all-black with “YZY” in all capital letters.

The Gap collaboration is not the first time the two had worked together, as they spent much of last year with Demna acting as the creative director for West’s Donda album release events, as well as their past work together under the original creative house DONDA.

Bloomberg reported that YEEZY Gap was expected to generate $150 million in sales in 2022 and could become a $1 billion brand itself by 2023.

And if there’s anything we know with Ye now, it’s to always expect the unexpected. Nur Abbas’ appointment continues that trend.

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