Kanye West has rounded up his high-profile fashion friends to debut the ultimate collaboration: Yeezy x Gap x Balenciaga, slated for global release this year under the branding Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga. The three-way partnership will be the first of its kind to see “Ye’s peerless vision bring together the most influential designer of his generation, Demna, with iconic American brand, Gap,” Yeezy Gap said in a statement.
Business friends forever — West and Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia — as of late 2021, known simply as Ye and Demna — have formed a tight-knit friendship over the past year, assisting each other through a number of projects. Last July, Ye sat front row at Demna’s first Balenciaga couture show, while Demna served as creative director to Ye’s Donda listening parties. The rapper, dedicated as ever, has even worn Balenciaga’s own collaboration with Crocs religiously, seeing the chunky rubber shoes fit for dining with Anna Wintour.
Looking back, a business partnership between Demna and Ye was inevitable; as for Gap’s inclusion, not so much. After Ye signed a ten-year contract with the brand in 2020, releases have been limited to Round Jackets and hoodies, each lacking definite branding. Still, demand for the exclusive pieces has crashed the Gap website numerous times, while a red iteration of the $200 Round Jacket is now reselling for $7,500.
As of now, there’s no word on what Balenciaga’s Yeezy x Gap collection will look like, although it's safe to assume the capsule will feature oversized hoodies, utilitarian pants, and deconstructed denim. Gap’s branding — or some type of hybrid logo — may take center stage too, given Demna’s penchant for corporate logos. In fact, the creative director may have hinted at his Yeezy x Gap collaboration in his Pre-Fall 2021 collection, where he debuted sweatshirts and tees that turned Gap’s logo into the word “Gay.”
Does accessibility align with Yeezy and Balenciaga? — Already, Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga sounds like an expensive collaboration, although Demna clarified that its focus lies within accessibility — something often missing from Yeezy and Yeezy x Gap’s offerings. “I’ve always appreciated the utilitarianism and the accessibility of Gap… This project allowed me to join forces [with Ye] to create utilitarian fashion for all,” the Balenciaga creative director told Vogue.
According to Vogue, the first half of the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection will land in June, with a second drop scheduled for later in the year. “It is a vision come true to work with Gap and Demna, the creative director of Balenciaga, to make incredible product available to everyone at all times,” Ye told the publication. How Demna and Ye define availability and accessibility is unclear — after all, they’re both millionaires — but it’ll be interesting to find out.