Call it a hacking, a creative exchange, or, like longtime collaborators Kanye West and Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, an engineering. Whatever you call it, the next eight Yeezy Gap pieces are set to drop today at Yeezygap and Farfetch (after a countdown timer on the former was constantly reset over the course of Tuesday). They look like Gap remade for the dystopia.
The collection is in line with the only two Gap pieces Kanye has released so far, the hugely successful bulbous, waxy Round Jacket and cropped Perfect Hoodie. Out, for the most part: logos and branding. In: shapes, materials, and silhouettes more recognizable than any insignia. There are hoodies and T-shirts, layered over or under ponchos, long draping tees, and shackets. There is a tracksuit, a jumpsuit made of what appears to be the swishiest material, and baggy billowing pants. Almost everything is cast in black, save for a light wash and tattered denim jacket and jeans. Of course, every model in the look book is wearing a full face covering. Prices range from $120 to $440.
Gap and Ye both aspire to dress the masses, but their methods could not be more dissimilar. While Gap goes for friendly khakis, branded hoodies in primary colors, and perfect-for-suburbia jeans, Ye thinks the mass consumer is ready for something a little more daring. These clothes are out there even by Ye’s standards. As far back as Yeezy Season 1, Ye has been accused of designing clothes that would fit right in on the set of The Walking Dead. This Gap collaboration is somehow even darker, doing away with even the dusty hues that epitomized Ye’s early fashion ventures. Will Gap customers warm to clothes that look like they’ve been designed for a Baz Luhrmann remake of The Road?
Yet Ye has had success injecting his far-out visions into the mainstream. When his Yeezy 350 sneakers first came out, they were considered highly unusual. Now, they’re the best-selling shoe to come out of Ye’s Adidas collaboration. And while the cropped proportions of the so-called Perfect Hoodie are far from traditional, customers ended up really appreciating the fit. As The Cut wrote in October last year of the hoodie, “Kanye West Has Actually Made People Happy.” This is the Ye way: design something shocking and slowly win the tug-of-rope game pulling customers to the (this time literal) dark side.