Kanye West is not known for his subtlety. So when the rapper, designer and all-round creative began wearing head-to-toe Balenciaga almost exclusively a few months ago, fans started to suspect something big was coming. And they weren't wrong.
In a post on Instagram last week, Kanye (who now goes simply by the name of 'Ye') shared a snippet from what appeared to be a legal contract confirming a collaboration between Yeezy, Gap and Balenciaga which immediately sent the internet and 'hypebeasts' everywhere into a complete frenzy, and prompted a stream of endless questions:
Is this why Ye's soon-to-be-ex wife Kim Kardashian has solely sported Balenciaga in all of her recent public appearances? And is it just a coincidence that Julia Fox wore a look from the brand for her highly publicised 'date night' with Ye just a few days earlier? Or was it a perfectly orchestrated hint at what was to come?
Knowing Ye, none of the above would have been left to chance. That said, the performer has been uncharacteristically hush-hush about the collaboration, which has left us wondering what we can expect from the most anticipated fashion collaboration of 2022 thus far.
Here's everything we know about Ye and Balenciaga's collaboration:
What is the collaboration called?
Gap has announced that the new project will be released under the name of Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga, as a 'first of its kind launch [which] sees ye's peerless vision bring together the most influential designer of his generation, Demna [Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga], with the iconic American brand Gap'.
This project marks the next step in West's 10-year deal with Gap, which began in 2020 but has only seen a few items released so far under the Yeezy Gap brand (which, naturally, immediately sold out).
What can we expect the collaboration to include?
While we can't be completely sure of what Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga will entail, Ye does love to throw us a curveball every now and then. It seems likely that the collaboration will focus heavily on clothing, perhaps including shoes and accessories too.
One thing we do know, however, is that the collaboration will be a combination of Ye and Demna's creative visions and unique style, which they have described as 'urban minimalism'. We predict Yeezy-style oversized separates, deconstructed streetwear and the duo's typically post-apocalyptic aesthetic.
Speaking recently with Vogue, Demna dished some more details on the project: 'This is a very different challenge. I’ve always appreciated the utilitarianism and the accessibility of Gap. I share some of the same sensibilities in my creative language. This project allowed me to join forces [with Ye] to create utilitarian fashion for all.'
When will the collaboration drop?
The first Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga global release is set for June 2022. The exact date is still under wraps, with a second drop rumoured to follow later in the year.
How much will the collection cost?
We haven't been given any information about prices quite yet, but based on the fact that Demna has spoken of a desire to 'create utilitarian fashion for all' and Ye has mentioned the importance of 'creating incredible product available to everyone at all times', we have high hopes for a relatively affordable collection and Balenciaga fabulousness at Gap prices. Fingers crossed...
And if you really can't wait, take a look at the brands' respective offerings for some interim retail therapy:
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