Kanye West’s Innovative Collaboration with GAP

Kanye West’s Yeezy brand collaborated with Balenciaga and GAP to present a unique, fashion-forward take on modern aesthetics and design. Ever since West’s announcement that he would work with GAP to bring forward new and progressive designs to the brand, a full collection release has been highly anticipated. The collection is in line with the only two Gap pieces West has released so far, the hugely successful bulbous, waxy Round Jacket and cropped Perfect Hoodie. 

Despite reports of frustration amid Gap executives that a full collection hadn’t rolled out yet, the line is here, with one of the world’s hottest designers on board. Demna Gvasalia, creative director for Balenciaga, hopped onto the project as a lead collaborator. Gvasalia and West have been working together closely over the past few years, with Gvasalia directing Donda, West’s latest album, and contributing to many of his performances. 

West’s vision when it comes to aesthetic and fashion usually polarizes many in the community due to his typical bold, mold-breaking pieces. When he first signed with Adidas, many questioned the direction he was taking the Yeezy brand, and criticized many of his earlier works like the Yeezy 750 and 350s. West’s ability to take unique aesthetics and normalize them to the public has been the hallmark of his success in the fashion industry, and these successes are reflected in the undeniable popularity of his Adidas collaborations. 

This new collection of clothing West released falls in line with the work he’s previously put out. There are hoodies and T-shirts, layered over or under ponchos, long draping tees, and shackets. There is a tracksuit, a jumpsuit made of a techwear material, and baggy billowing pants. Almost everything is cast in black, save for a light wash and tattered denim jacket and jeans. Many of the designs are reminiscent of his Yeezy SZN collections, which have jump-started the trend of baggy, oversized clothing with vintage washes. 

Senior Varadvaj Chavan is a student at Churchill High School. Chavan is a fan of West and speaks on the impact and accessibility of West’s brand.

“I believe that Kanye has had a huge impact on the youth of today’s society, and has influenced the ways fashion is viewed and pushed the boundaries on what is normal in today’s streetwear atmosphere,” Chavan said. “I think that the biggest instance of this would have to be the collaboration between him and Adidas, as well as his YZY SZN clothing. Both have changed the perspectives of design within the sneaker and clothing industry and have been a staple in each for the past five years.”

West definitely has pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable in the sneaker world, and has developed innovative designs that many now hold as the standard for creativity in the current culture. Like his Adidas collaborations, West has propelled GAP back into the spotlight in the streetwear industry, and his impact is immediately felt through the data provided by GAP. His “Perfect Hoodie” that dropped earlier in the year delivered the most sales of a single item in one day in Gap.com history.

Devanondeck, a fashion content creator on Instagram, speaks about the new collection’s uniqueness and attention to detail. 

“Kanye is already an established icon in the fashion community and has delivered various silhouettes and designs that have become coveted throughout the past few years. A big reason for this would have to be the uniqueness of each of his pieces and what stylistic choices he makes in order to incorporate them into different outfits. His designs challenge the people to create new aesthetics and outfits to make them work, and I think it’s a well-executed way to create engagement within the community.” Devanondeck explained. 

Beyond West’s antics, he has built an undeniable empire in the fashion industry and has proven that his vision succeeds in today’s society. His multifaceted designs have become the standard for what streetwear was heading towards in the future, and have truly reinforced why he has become an icon well established in a multitude of art mediums.