Kanye West inks Yeezy deal with Gap

Gap has inked a deal with Kanye West to produce a new line. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 June 2020

Kanye West inks Yeezy deal with Gap

NEW YORK: The struggling Gap brand has inked a deal with the mercurial Kanye West to produce a new line marrying its American clothing classics with the rapper’s Yeezy designs.

The retailer Gap Inc and West’s Yeezy will introduce “Yeezy Gap” in the first half of 2021, the companies said Friday.

Under West’s creative guidance, the new line will include “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points,” the statement said.

The companies noted that the deal brings West’s relationship to Gap “full circle,” saying the billionaire entrepreneur, rapper, designer and most recently gospel singer worked at a Chicago Gap store as a teenager.

“#WESTDAYEVER,” the 43-year-old tweeted, with a logo combining “YZY” with Gap’s signature navy blue and white.

It is a collaboration West has long waxed poetic on: “One of my dreams was to be the head creative director of the Gap,” he told New York Magazine in 2015.

“I'd like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap.”

He and London-based, Lagos-born designer Mowalola Ogunlesi also announced she would be the design director of Yeezy Gap.

Latching onto the star power of West is a major marketing score for Gap, which has seen sales consistently decline since 2013 and has scrambled to remain relevant in a rapidly shifting ready-to-wear landscape.

Yeezy will receive royalties and potential equity based on meeting sales targets.

Yeezy's sneaker side alone was valued as much as $3 billion last year, according to Bloomberg.

The 21-time Grammy winner West waded into the design world in 2007, when he launched his first line of high-end sneakers in collaboration with Nike.

He severed ties with the American sports apparel company in 2013, saying his share of revenues was insufficient.

He then launched a partnership with German sportswear giant Adidas and saw sales explode, hitting some $1.5 billion in 2019, according to Forbes.

In parallel the celebrity entrepreneur has presented eight Yeezy clothing collections, with financing from Adidas.


In Lebanon, single-concert festival serenades empty ruins

Updated 05 July 2020

In Lebanon, single-concert festival serenades empty ruins

  • The Baalbek International Festival was streamed live on television and social media
  • The night kicked off with the Lebanese philharmonic orchestra and choir performing the national anthem

BEIRUT: A philharmonic orchestra performed to spectator-free Roman ruins in east Lebanon Sunday, after a top summer festival downsized to a single concert in a year of economic meltdown and pandemic.
The Baalbek International Festival was instead streamed live on television and social media, in what its director called a message of “hope and resilience” amid ever-worsening daily woes.
The night kicked off with the Lebanese philharmonic orchestra and choir performing the national anthem, followed by Carmina Burana’s “O Fortuna,” a 13th century poem set to music.

The program, which ran for just over an hour, included a mix of classical music and rock and folk tunes by composers ranging from Beethoven to Lebanon’s Rahbani brothers.
Held in the open air and conducted by Harout Fazlian, the 150 musicians and chorists were scattered inside the illuminated Temple of Bacchus, as drones filmed them among the enormous ruins and Greco-Roman temples of Baalbek.
Festival director Nayla de Freige told AFP most artists performed for free at the designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
The concert aimed to represent “a way of saying that Lebanon does not want to die. We have an extremely productive and creative art and culture sector,” she said.
“We want to send a message of civilization, hope and resilience.”
Baalbek itself became a militia stronghold during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, but conservation and tourism have revived the ruins over the past three decades.
Lebanon is known for its summer music festivals, which have in past years drawn large crowds every night and attracted performers like Shakira, Sting and Andrea Bocelli.
Other festivals have not yet announced their plans for this year.
Lebanon has recorded just 1,873 cases of COVID-19, including 36 deaths.
But measures to stem the spread of the virus have exacerbated the country’s worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Since economic woes in the autumn sparked mass protests against a political class deemed irretrievably corrupt, tens of thousands have lost their jobs or part of their income, and prices have skyrocketed.
Banks have prevented depositors from withdrawing their dollar savings, while the local currency has lost more than 80 percent of its value to the greenback on the black market.