Where can you buy YEEZY GAP? Until today, I'd have said nowhere but through the YEEZY GAP web store. But, for the first time ever, you'll soon be able to shop the YEEZY GAP Engineered By Balenciaga collection inside Ye's redesigned GAP store in New York's Times Square.
YEEZY GAP was never positioned to be a luxury label, unlike YEEZY SEASON. Even years before it was ever conceived and Balenciaga was brought on-board, it was but one piece of Ye's overarching egalitarian aims.
"I'd like to be the Steve Jobs of GAP," Ye said way back in 2015.
"I’m not talking about a capsule. I’m talking about full Hedi Slimane creative control of the GAP is what I would like to do."
Don't like it? No problem, Ye will simply bring his vision to life himself.
Hence Ye seemingly taking YEEZY independent of adidas, or at least aiming to establish the brand outside of the Three Stripes umbrella.
Ye's my-way-or-the-highway attitude is one of the things that's engendered comparisons between Ye and Steve Jobs, Demna and Jony Ive, YEEZY GAP and Apple, especially since YEEZY GAP Engineered By Balenciaga was announced earlier this year.
After all, the idea behind YEEZY GAP Engineered By Balenciaga is that Ye is melding the codes of luxury, the reach of fast-fashion, and the distinct design cues that he and Demna share.
It's the iPod approach, where you take something mass market — .mp3 players for Jobs, hoodies for Ye — and elevate it, make it sexy, and sell for an approachable premium.
Ye's vision doesn't consider instant sell-out drops. Rather, he's positioning YEEZY GAP to entirely reinvent the casual consumer's perspective on everyday clothing.
For better or worse, Ye is thinking big picture and taking GAP along for the ride.
In a soon-to-be-deleted Instagram post uploaded on July 14, Ye asserted that GAP has "sold 14 million dollars" of his black Perfect Hoodies.
GAP's Q1 2022 sales figures didn't reflect a significant boost from YEEZY GAP — stores are still closing, YEEZY GAP-overseeing CEO Sonia Syngal stepped down in mid-July — but, if those figures are accurate, they reflect immense influence.
And influence is precisely why you want work with Ye.
Perhaps that's why GAP gave Ye the green light to redesign its Times Square flagship (note that this is unrelated to his YZYSLPY retail store trademark).
Opening July 21 at 10 a.m. EST, only a month and a half after Ye turned 45, one of GAP's busiest stores in America will become the first to sell YEEZY GAP IRL.
Pre-COVID 19 pandemic, Times Square saw upwards of 365,000 daily pedestrians, which is a lot of eyeballs for any retailer.
Ye's GAP flagship isn't merely "redesigned," though: it's been "reengineered and distilled to its most essential form," according to a press release, which means that the YEEZY GAP store is minimalist and pared-back, fitted with displays of models wearing YEEZY GAP Engineered By Balenciaga gear and rows of angular light fixtures.
It'll be the first GAP retailer in the world to stock YEEZY GAP Engineered By Balenciaga in-store, though the shop will only offer "a selection" of styles rather than the full collection.
On July 23, GAP stores across the US will also offer an IRL assortment of YEEZY GAP.
Simultaneously, the collection will be delivered across the country for shock-drops in a fleet of YEEZY GAP vans.
But, for now, everyone can play the YEEZY GAP Balenciaga video game online.
The YEEZY GAP Engineered by Balenciaga collection was previously only available to shop on YEEZY GAP's website, Balenciaga's web store, and Balenciaga partners Farfetch, Mytheresa, and Louisaviaroma, where it remains available for order.
Tellingly, Ye's reformatted GAP store "fulfills the vision to deliver YEEZY GAP design on a larger scale" — all part of Ye's transition into GAP's very own Steve Jobs.
It's the same drive that has Ye reportedly working with McDonald's — there's nothing more mass market, nothing more accessible to a massive assemblage of the public than the Golden Arches.
Except, maybe, for GAP.