Gap is garnering a lot of criticism for abandoning its collaboration with Black designer Telfar Clemens. The struggling retailer reportedly ghosted and failed to pay Telfar amid Covid-19. A fact made even more problematic considering Gap’s brand new 10-year deal with Kanye West’s YEEZY.
Gap announced its mammoth deal with YEEZY yesterday, “a next-level retail partnership” which many consider a huge win for Black creatives. However, among all the buzz surrounding the Gap-YEEZY partnership, one question is becoming painfully obvious – whatever happened to that Telfar collaboration?
Earlier this year, Gap announced its collaboration with Telfar at a surprise fashion week party. There was a ton of buzz, with many excited to see the independent Black designer secure such a lucrative deal. In an interview with Highsnobiety, Telfar spoke of his “obsession” with Gap and his excitement at the platform the collab would give his brand.
Now Business of Fashion reports that the Telfar x Gap collaboration came to a halt back in March due to the coronavirus lockdowns and widespread store closures. In the wake of this indefinite postponement, Gap offered Telfar 25% of the design fee as an advance for work that had already been completed on the collab. Yet, since then Telfar and his team have not received any payment for the partnership, not even the postponement fee.
Understandably, Gap is facing criticism for abandoning a Black-owned brand for budget reasons and instead clout-chasing an expensive multi-year deal with Kanye.
Gap is reportedly looking into the matter.