Rapper and designer Kanye West says he’s terminating his partnership with ailing apparel retailer Gap Inc., potentially spelling the end of a troubled association that left both sides disappointed.
Lawyers for West, who is known as Ye, sent a letter to Gap on Thursday arguing the company had failed to release apparel and open stores as stipulated in the agreement.
“Gap left Ye no choice but to terminate their collaboration agreement because of Gap’s substantial noncompliance,” Nicholas Gravante Jr., a partner at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, said in an email.
Ye had “diligently tried to work through” the issues with Gap directly and through his lawyers but got nowhere, Gravante said. The artist will now move forward with opening Yeezy retail stores.
Ye and representatives for Gap didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The company had high hopes for the Yeezy deal when it was announced in June 2020, but product drops were intermittent and the tie-up hasn’t meaningfully helped Gap’s results.
Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that Ye intended to wind down his current corporate deals and not sign new ones, instead independently retailing his designs.
Gap shares were up 1% to $9.45 at 9:58 a.m. in New York. The company’s stock has lost almost half of its value this year amid management upheaval and operational missteps.
The Wall Street Journal reported Ye’s planned termination of the Gap deal earlier Thursday.
With assistance from Olivia Rockeman and Kim Bhasin.
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