In his role, Abbas will report directly to Ye to further expand YEEZY's reach and launch special projects for the brand. He will also oversee Ye's music merch and Stemwear, a clothing line to accompany West's Stem player.
"I’m energized to work with Ye because he cares so deeply about design and moving culture forward," Abbas told WWD. "At YEEZY and GAP, I’ve met some of the most talented people and teams, and I’m looking forward to working with them all to extend this new creative vision to the world."
In addition to Nike, Abbas's resume also boasts stints at Nikelab Apparel, UNIQLO, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. According to his Linkedin page, he got his start as an assistant designer at Maison Margiela.
Since its inception, YEEZY has functioned as an extension of Kanye West himself: his work, his creative vision, his personality. While West is still the captain of the proverbial YEEZY ship, the brand's decision to bring another head into the mix comes at a rather loaded moment.
The latest in Kanye's never-ending news cycle: the rapper was booted off Instagram for 24 hours, a consequence of violating the app's policy on hate speech, harassment, and bullying.
Days later, the Recording Academy axed Ye's Grammys performance.
Amid the rapper's very public temper tantrums, threats, and generally concerning behavior, some are calling on GAP to cancel its partnership with YEEZY.
YEEZY's move to hire Abbas was surely in the works before Ye reached his latest low, but the decision might be perceived as an effort to distance the brand from its divisive founder.