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Rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West has ended his partnership with Gap Inc., citing the company’s “commitments to China” as one of the main reasons.
In an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” West said that he wanted to bring manufacturing back to America and that Gap’s ties to China made that impossible.
“They have a lot of commitments to China,” West said. “We wanted localized manufacturing, and they just couldn’t do it at the scale we needed.”
West also said he is working on setting up his manufacturing facility in the United States.
“I’m looking at a couple of different states right now, just to be able to make product at the scale that I need,” he said.
While West did not give a specific timeline for when his facility would be up and running, he said it is “definitely something that we’re working on.”
The partnership between West and Gap was first announced in June 2020 and was seen as a way for the company to tap into the lucrative streetwear market.
West’s Yeezy brand is one of the most successful in the business, and his partnership with Gap was seen as a way to bring some of that success to the struggling retailer.
However, it appears that West has had a change of heart, and is now focused on bringing manufacturing back to the United States.
This is not the first time that West has spoken out against China. In 2019, he tweeted that he was “done” with Nike because they were “making shoes in China.”
West continued: “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 product in the world designed at the same level of the top fashion houses in the world at $20 for the people.”
“And so we went through three years. You know, honestly, there’s always like 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.
“Didn’t price my stuff, priced my stuff at like 200 and above their whole price point normally, and then did the exact shirt for $20.
“Also, they did pop-ups. I signed on with them because they had in the contract they said they were going to do stores, and they just ignored us about building stores.
“It was very frustrating. It was very disheartening because I just put everything I had. They have a lot of commitments to China.
“We wanted to do localized manufacturing, which is completely possible with the factories I’m buying here in California. We can actually bring industry back to America.”
It is unclear what this means for the future of the Gap partnership, but it seems safe to say that it is now on hold, at least for the time being.