A year after the partnership was first announced, Gap launched the first product in its collaboration with Kanye West’s Yeezy brand. The bright blue puffer jacket made from recycled nylon is available for US customers to pre-order for $200 on the Gap website. Orders will ship in the autumn.
The launch was timed to coincide with West’s birthday and was accompanied by a flurry of marketing. West was spotted in the jacket last week, prompting speculation about what was to come. Its image has been projected onto buildings in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
The collaboration is a big bet for Gap, which is counting on the Kanye West partnership to revive flagging sales. The mall brand has grappled with store closures, mass layoffs and furloughs, rent disputes and consumer shifts to online retailers over the course of the pandemic, but it also faced declining sales and deep discounting long before 2020.
According to a Bloomberg report earlier this year, Gap expects its Yeezy line to top $150 million in revenue in 2022, its first full year of operation, with a view to becoming a billion-dollar brand within the next eight years.
But the tie-up between Yeezy and Gap has at times been uncertain, with the collection’s launch date up in the air as recently as last month and West demanding a seat on Gap’s board of directors in September last year.
Still Gap is hoping to replicate the success of Yeezy’s long-standing partnership with Adidas. Sales of Yeezy sneakers brought in nearly $1.7 billion in annual revenue in 2020, up 31 percent from a year earlier.