Oh, how the “Runaway” tables have turned: where Kanye West once lamented a lover “putting up with his shit just way too long,” he’s now the one bidding a long-term, turbulent partnership adieu: his contract with Gap.
West (who goes by Ye) and his attorneys have moved to terminate an agreement between Gap and West’s company Yeezy, per The Associated Press. Now, West’s attorneys allege that Gap continuously failed to meet contractual obligations like “distributing merchandise to Gap store locations and creating dedicated YZY Gap stores” over the course of the partnership.
“Gap left Ye no choice but to terminate their collaboration agreement because of Gap’s substantial noncompliance,” Nicholas Gravante, West’s attorney with Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, shares in a statement to AP. “Ye had diligently tried to work through these issues with Gap both directly and through counsel. He has gotten nowhere.”
The two companies first joined forces back in June 2020 to release the inaugural piece of Yeezy Gap, a blue puffer coat. Really, though, West’s history with the Gap starts pre-fame; West worked at a Chicago Gap as a teenager, and also told Vanity Fair in 2015 he’d like to one day serve as a creative director for the brand.
Since times (and admiration levels) have changed, West has been far from tight-lipped on his issues with Gap, regularly blasting the company and its individual employees on his Instagram. In a since-deleted series of posts, West slammed Gap for “taking meetings” on his brand without him in the room (an allegation that, as of yet, has no supporting evidence). West has also openly raised issues with Adidas and JP Morgan over his Yeezy brand.
Per Gravente’s statement to the AP, West has plans to open his own Yeezy retail stores post-Gap split—he’s filed a trademark for the name “YZY SPLY” (presumably to be read as Yeezy Supply), and previously hinted the first location will open in Atlanta.
West has also been using his Instagram recently to tout a new line of sunglasses, YZY SHDZ, a pivot he himself says came in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. After previously using the platform primarily for beef, West vowed to “lay down the sword” in honor of the Queen’s passing. He didn’t, however, vow not to pay homage by emblazoning the Queen’s likeness across whatever overpriced hoodies are next on the Yeezy docket. Given that today West shared this photo of the Queen wearing superimposed YZY SHDZ, hope on that front will have to remain tentative for now.