Kanye West says he’s ending his partnership with Gap

New York
CNN business

Kanye West said he was ending his two-year partnership with Gap for “non-compliance.”

His lawyer, Nicholas Gravant, said Thursday that West was left with “no choice but to terminate their partnership” after alleging that the retailer breached their partnership by, among other things, not opening Yeezy-branded stores and distributing his clothing as originally planned.

“Gap’s failure to meet its contractual obligations has been costly,” wrote Gravant, who leads the litigation team at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. “You will now immediately move forward to make up for lost time by opening Yeezy retail stores.”

Gap (GPS) did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares were down about 3% in early trading.

The partnership was announced in June 2020 and immediately gave the massive retailer a major boost. For example, a $200 jacket designed by West was an instant hit, but was only available online.

West also said Gap was supposed to sell 40% of Yeezy Gap products in its retail stores, which has not materialized, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The relationship turned sour in recent months. West, also known as Ye, criticized Gap for not listening. “You really need to give me a position to be Ye and let me do what I think, or I have to do my thinking elsewhere,” she said in a now-deleted Instagram post, the Journal reported.

Neil Saunders, GlobalData’s managing director, wrote in a statement that the breakup was “not completely unexpected” and would not hurt Gap’s bottom line financially.

“Gap is a cautious company with an old-fashioned brand that typically shuns bold moves. Rather, Kanye is a radical innovator who loves to shake things up,” Saunders wrote. “While Kanye may have injected a dose of energy into the Gap, the incompatibility of the two visions meant that frustrations were inevitable. In some ways, Kanye was too dumb for the Gap.”

West recently told Bloomberg that it was “time for me to go it alone,” that he would be looking to “make a new industry” and that he had no company “between me and the audience.”