On Thursday morning, Ye’s Yeezy Gap line will be available to purchase in person for the first time, at a special pop-up inside Gap’s New York City flagship store in Times Square. The space, according to an press release, “has been reengineered and distilled to its most essential form in Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga’s vision of utilitarian design”—and, judging from a video posted to Instagram announcing the release, just might feature a mountainous heap of clothing set against an otherwise minimalist, monochromatic layout.
“The entry into Gap stores,” the press release continues, “fulfills the vision to deliver Yeezy Gap design on a larger scale,” holding to both Ye and Balenciaga creative director Demna’s shared interest in utilitarian fashion and extending the reach of luxury design. The selection will include many of the dove-motif pieces from the inaugural Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection, which first went on sale online in February.
Ye and Gap made the pop-up announcement on Wednesday by way of a conceptual commercial posted to a new Yeezy Instagram account, which is the first official account for the brand. The ad spot was directed by Thyago Sainte, who has previously photographed Ye’s Donda 2 live presentation and Balenciaga’s fall 2022 runway show, and creative directed by Betsy Johnson, who became connected to the French fashion house after meeting Demna while working on Ye’s Donda listening events. The clip, creepy and dryly funny, features a wordless retail transaction between two hooded, masked figures (dressed much like Ye and Demna have in recent months) inside a dark room that feels more like a dystopian expanse, standing in front of the aforementioned mountain of clothes.
Ye and Demna, who have become frequent collaborators, are both ideological populists, interested in subverting the fashion establishment’s notions of luxury and accessibility. It’s why Ye has long been enthusiastic about the biggest of the big-name brands such as Gap, Apple, and Disney, in addition to the CEOs and founders behind them—to him, the ability to disseminate a product widely is as important to its value as its design. (In a way, shopping is the art.) Last week, Ye posted a Google Image screenshot of Gap Inc. chairman Bob Martin to Instagram alongside a caption recounting a recent call he’d had with Martin and other Gap execs. “I came to Gap to put good product directly in stores,” he wrote. “We’ve had 2 of the biggest sales day [sic] in Gap history since I’ve been there. We sold 14 million dollars worth of the perfect black hoodie at 80 dollars a hoodie off of a television commercial that was ran one time. I came to Gap to bring good quality products to the people at all times.”
The Times Square pop-up opens at 10 a.m. Eastern in Manhattan. In addition to the retail location, the first Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection will still be available for purchase on the Yeezy Gap and Balenciaga web stores, as well as on the Balenciaga-partnered global e-comm platforms Farfetch, Mytheresa, and Luisa Via Roma.
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