Image: Gap

What does the already-amped-up fashion collaboration look like in 2022? Or more precisely, how does one go about topping the existing trend of buzzy co-branded collabs, such as those rolled out by Gucci and Balenciaga, Fendi and Versace, etc.? It brings together three players, and it looks a little something like this … Yeezy x Gap x Balenciaga. Amid a Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (who now legally goes by Ye) tour-de-Balenciaga, which has seen the two famed figures decked out in almost all things Balenciaga, Ye and Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia (who now just goes by “Demna”) have announced a tie-up as part of the rapper-slash-designer’s enduring Gap collection. “It is a vision come true to work with Gap and Demna to make incredible product available to everyone at all times,” Ye said on Friday.

The first drop from Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga – which is what the unprecedented tie-up is actually being called (since “X” is decidedly very last season) – is expected in June. A second drop is slated for later in the year, and “who knows, maybe there will be more down the line,” Vogue’s Nicole Phelps quips. In connection with the newly-announced partnership, which Balenciaga teased on its Instagram by sharing a post from Kanye that depicts a snapshot of the “collaboration agreement” behind the parties’ deal, the YZY Gap logo has been slightly altered, swapping in a Balenciaga-esque black for Gap’s traditional navy blue hue. 

Yeezy x Gap x Balenciaga

Gap first revealed the launch of its partnership with West’s Yeezy brand in June 2020, with the American mall-based retailer saying, “Yeezy’s design studio, under West’s creative direction, plans to create ‘modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points,’” and noting that West’s “design vision” will extend beyond garments, themselves, “to how the line will be showcased in Gap’s stores” across the United States, as well as online. On the heels of dropping the first offering from the collaboration, which is set to span a decade, this summer, Wells Fargo predicted that Yeezy Gap could generate almost $1 billion in sales for the mall retailer in 2022.

In a note in July, Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow put forth findings from a survey of 1,000 consumers, in furtherance of which Wells Fargo and data firm Guidepoint found that of the 530 current Gap shoppers surveyed, 64 percent said that they plan to purchase items from the heavily-hyped collaboration, with the average surveyed shopper saying that they are likely to shell out nearly $180 within the first year of the collection’s debut. 

The Yeezy Gap collection, itself – which currently consists of recycled nylon puffer jackets and colored hoodies – “could drive up to $990 million in sales for Gap in fiscal 2022, and boost earnings by roughly 50 cents per share,” according to Boruchow, who “was the first analyst to turn bullish on Gap stock after the Covid-19 pandemic hit,” per Barron’s, “upgrading it in June 2020, just days before the Yeezy announcement.” That nearly-$1 billion sales figure is notably higher than one floated by UBS in March, which stated that Gap expects its Yeezy line of “modern, elevated basics” to exceed “$150 million in sales in its first full year in 2022.”