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Kanye West on ending Gap partnership: “A king can’t live in someone else’s castle”

Ye appeared on CNBC to discuss the end of his and Yeezy’s partnership with the retail giant.

September 16, 2022

On Thursday it was confirmed that Kanye West's working relationship with Gap had come to an end. The partnership was due to last a decade but was terminated just two years in total, with the rapper and business mogul notifying Gap of his decision via a letter from his attorneys.

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Shortly after the news about the Gap deal broke, Ye appeared on CNBC where he spoke at length about where he felt let down by his former partners and what will come next for him. See the clip in full above.

At the root of the breakdown in relations, it seems, is Ye and Gap's inability to agree on a retail price for the clothes they were manufacturing.

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"It was always a dream of mine to be at the Gap and to bring the best product possible to the masses, and I always talked to them about doing products for $20 — like the best products in the world, designed to the same level of the top fashion houses in the world, at $20 for the people," Ye told CNBC (via Stereogum). "And so we went through three years, and honestly there’s always [those] struggles and back-and-forth when you’re trying to build something new and integrate teams. So we designed an entire collection, and actually I wasn’t able to set the actual price that I wanted for this collection. And then they actually took one of the shirts and sold it for $19. So [they] didn’t price my stuff — they took my stuff and sold it for like $200 and above their whole price point normally and did the exact shirt for $20."

Ye went on to allege that Gap "ignored" his request to build new stores and that lines of clothing he designed with Balenciaga's Demna Gvasalia were sold in colorways he had not approved. Summing up the relationship he describes it as "very frustrating... very disheartening."

Elsewhere in the conversation, Ye said speaking to senior staff at Gap made him feel "like I was on mute or something." He added: "Our agenda, it wasn’t aligned." Naturally, he found time for some grandstanding, too. Claiming credit for the way teenagers dress in 2022, Ye said: "Everyone knows that I’m the leader. I’m the king, right? So a king can’t live in someone else’s castle. A king has to make his own castle."

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Let's just see how it will affect his decision to discard all of his grudges as a mark of respect to the late Elizabeth II.

Kanye West on ending Gap partnership: “A king can’t live in someone else’s castle”