After months of teasing, Ye’s second capsule collection with Demna Gvasalia and Gap is finally available for the public.
Last night, Kanye West, legally known as Ye, took to Instagram again— but not in his usual fashion. Rather than upload from his individual account, the handle @Yeezy was activated for the first time to broadcast highly anticipated Yeezy news..
Yeezy, the nickname bestowed by Beanie Sigel back in Baseline Studios years ago, has gone on to become a billion-dollar brand in the world of fashion. Despite all of Ye’s success in style — and influence on social media — his namesake company has kept off of Web2 since its origin.
That changed Wednesday when West uploaded a video to announce that his Yeezy x GAP collection engineered by Balenciaga has finally hit retail. Thursday, the Times Square GAP location has been reimagined by Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia and Ye, offering an IRL experience to shop their collaborative collection. Moreover, the original campaign video has been scrubbed from the page, instead replaced by numerous uploads of digitally rendered videos depicting avatars in head-to-toe looks from the creatives.
Currently, the aptly named YeezyGap.com sells nine different articles of clothing — all of them tops — ranging from a long-sleeve shirt sized for women for $80 to a boxy branded hoody selling for $240. All items do a poignant job of blending brand DNA from all three fashion houses — appearing mostly in black but also released in washed tones of grey, green, and blue.
The website additionally showcases a video game, playable only on mobile devices and requiring an email submission. Perhaps most impressive is that all items are labeled ‘Ready to Ship,’ which holds weight when considering the long wait times associated with much of Ye’s merch tied to Donda Sports and albums such as Jesus is King.
“I came to Gap to put good product directly in stores,” Ye posted in July 2022. “We’ve had two of the biggest sales day in Gap history since I’ve been there. We sold 14 million dollars worth of the perfect black hoodie at 80 dollars a hoodie off of a television commercial that was ran one time. I came to Gap to bring good quality products to the people at all times.”
When it comes to the very on-the-nose meaning and mantra of Gap, West is elevating the brand’s core basics while filling the space between couture and mall Americana. For reference, a long-sleeve shirt from Balenciaga costs $795 while one engineered by Demna and brought out by Yeezy Gap goes for $120. Notably, a tee of a similar styling from the Gap’s main line starts at $29.95.
Where West, Demna, and Gap go next is predictable in the palette but likely larger in scale.
Back in February, the first drop from Balenciaga x Yeezy x Gap was released online and consisted of everything from base-layer tops to oversized overcoats. Amongst the many pieces from online drops thus far — depicted in a massive pile in @Yeezy’s since-deleted first IG post — there are plenty of unreleased products waiting to be seen and experienced in real-life stores.
With this July’s online activation and retail experience in New York City, one would assume more IRL launches for the brand brought to Instagram are on the way.