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What former Gap CEO told Kanye West about the celebrity's clothing deal with Gap

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read
In this article:
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Retail legend Mickey Drexler — known for making Gap cool in the late 80s and early 90s and then reviving J.Crew in the early 2000s as CEO —apparently didn't pull any punches in a chat with Kanye West on whether the music icon and celebrated clothing designer should partner up with Gap. 

"I probably shouldn't say this but I told him he shouldn't do the deal because it doesn't make any sense in my opinion," said Drexler, now the CEO of specialty apparel retailer Alex Mill, exclusively on Yahoo Finance Live. "I have a lot of friends at Gap still, but it doesn't work for someone like Kanye. He is not a corporate person and Gap is a big corporation. So, I know the jacket sold out. They did $7 million on the jacket overnight. He is a smart guy but he shouldn't have done it. And I don't think they should have done it, either."

A spokesperson for Gap didn't return a request for comment on Drexler's observation. 

Gap CEO Sonia Syngal stunned just about everyone on June 26, 2020 when she announced a 10-year apparel deal with West. Shares of Gap surged 42% on the news as investors bought into the idea that West — whose Yeezy line of sneakers essentially saved Adidas — would inject badly needed life into a dying mall apparel brand. 

The line is expected to include hoodies, basics, T-shirts and joggers, but not much has been shared by Syngal or Gap management publicly. Instead, the products have been released in piecemeal to build hype.

On June 8 (Kanye's 44th birthday), Gap released its first product from the partnership with West. Dubbed the "round jacket," it was essentially a trendy looking $200 bright blue puffer coat with no zipper. The coat quickly sold out, as Drexler pointed out. 

In mid-July, Gap released the same puffer coat from Kanye in black. 

No other item release dates have been shared.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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