2015 was the year Demna Gvasalia became the creative director of Balenciaga, one year after he launched streetwear brand Vetements with his brother. 2015 was also the year he met Kanye West, when the artist, now known as Ye, asked Demna to be part of the creative team for Yeezy season one.
2022 marks the seventh year of Ye and Demna’s friendship, the culmination of which bring us Yeezy GAP engineered by Balenciaga.
That’s right, you’ll be able to get Balenciaga at GAP prices. However, according to Forbes, Balenciaga is allowing YEEZY GAP to carry forward the collection so it might not be what we expect. In other words, there might be no clothes involved, it might be a presentation of ideas and social commentary instead. This is not as far-fetched a guess as it may seem, as Demna has said on multiple occasions that Ye understands him very well. As the creative director of Ye’s arena listening party for Donda last year, and creative director of the fashion house that Ye has been wearing heavily recently, Demna also understands Ye very well too.
Demna’s vision for Balenciaga of high quality basics and deceptively simple silhouettes, made using high level design techniques, aligns with Ye’s philosophy that fashion is not just about glamour and shouldn’t be exclusive or unattainable. This aligns with why GAP was started in the first place – to offer affordable, stylish, and well designed basics at a time when American runway fashion was failing to cater to the everyday person who wanted to look good, and be comfortable day to day.
“It is a vision come true to work with Gap and Demna, the creative director of Balenciaga, to make incredible product available to everyone at all times,” Ye said in a comment to Vogue.
GAP dominated the retail market in the 90s because it understood the times and gave people what they wanted. They haven’t done anything really exciting in recent years until the collaboration with Yeezy in 2020, which GAP announced would be a 10-year deal. In the year and a half since Yeezy GAP was made public, the sub-label has released just two pieces, a hoodie and a jacket that sold out immediately.
Collaborating with Balenciaga, one of fashions most successful and interesting brands right now could revitalise what so far has been an underwhelming partnership between Kanye and GAP, not necessarily because of the clothes but because of what the product will say about the world today as Ye and Demna see it.
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