Photographs Courtesy of YeezyxGap
It’s been a little over a year since the announcement of the Yeezy x GAP collab, a partnership between an American heritage brand that puts one of the fashion and entertainment world’s favourite (and most problematic) individuals at its helm. The original spirit of the brand is grounded in “elevated basics”, enlisting the help of such creatives as British-Nigerian powerhouse Mowalola Ogunlesi to fulfill Yeezy founder Kanye West’s vision.
The inception of Yeezy x GAP opened up a conversation surrounding the very concept of “elevated basics” and whether slapping a name like “Yeezy” on a cultural symbol such as GAP is more laughable or admirable. It comes as no surprise that West and Yeezy have a die-hard following, mainly young men of higher socioeconomic status who subscribe to hip-hop and streetwear culture and partake in the aforementioned “elevated basics”.
The products of the Yeezy x GAP collections thus far emulate the same streamlined quality that most other Yeezy products assume, with the most emphasis being placed on the YZY Round Jacket. The jacket, a shapeless puffer that was West’s choice of attire at the first Donda listening party on August 6th in Atlanta, GA, retails for $200 (but has inevitably hit resale sites for up to $850).
Another highly-publicized piece released in the collection is the Yeezy x GAP Hoodie, an unmarked Hanes-esque hoodie that made headlines for its $90 retail price (despite its lack of design). Staying true to the concept of elevated basics, the hoodie has even the most inexorable of West’s disciples questioning whether the product is worth the price.
Kanye West is making for a pretty pricey winter, but the partnership itself is a sign of something bigger in terms of fashion collaborations. Beyond just an “elevated basics” brand, Yeezy x GAP is something of a fashion tour-de-force, proving that with the right name recognition and strategic output, you can take something old and make it new once more.