Kanye “Ye” West has been catching his share of internet heat over his decision to sell his latest Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection in trash bags.
Following a torrent of comment on Twitter after images of the product’s display went viral, the rapper told Fox News yesterday he’s an “innovator” and “not here to sit up and apologize about my ideas.”
On Aug. 13, West shared on Instagram his source of inspiration. “Look to the children / Look to the homeless / As the biggest inspiration for all design,” he captioned a post.
The collection released in-store on July 21 at 10 a.m. ET and became available in 45 stores the following day. It also included Ye’s Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection.
Rather than celebrating the collaboration between an accessible brand like Gap and a luxury label like Balenciaga, the entire collection was overshadowed by the choice to merchandise it in actual trash bags.
According to one Twitter user, a Gap sales associate claimed Ye had a visceral reaction to the retailer’s traditional presentation. “Kanye supposedly got mad at Gap employees for having Yeezy Gap items on hangers, instead of being in trash bags smh. The employees are said to not be helping customers find their sizes, too,” wrote @YuriyATL.
Kanye supposedly got mad at Gap employees for having Yeezy Gap items on hangers, instead of being in trash bags smh. The employees are said to not be helping customers find their sizes, too. This is definitely Kanye behavior.🤦♂️ I have more info on @HipHopVibe1. https://t.co/eEUoJEV4Eg
— Yuriy Andriyashchuk🇺🇦 (@YuriyATL) August 17, 2022
One user tweeted snarky comments at the podcast Politipod, “Kanye West’s Yeezy GAP clothes are being displayed in trash bags. Who says there’s no truth in marketing? #yeezygap.”
— Dominic DeCecco 🇺🇦 (@domdececco) August 18, 2022
Although some consumers find it unusual for a retailer to sell products out of trash bags, others do see the marketing power behind the strategy. One user tweeted “I love Kanye West…His Gap line sold out immediately! You can laugh all you want. He’s awesome…”
I love Kanye West….His Gap line sold out immediately! You can laugh all you want. He’s awesome….
— Joanne # IFBAP 🇺🇲🇺🇲🌷🌷🇺🇲🇺🇲 (@USAGirl47) August 18, 2022
The Yeezy Gap collection included eight pieces ranging from reimagined Gap logo sweatshirts to unisex sweatpants. Gap originally described the collection as “timeless silhouettes,” but now he’s facing online backlash with some saying he’s appropriating homelessness.
Kanye using “homeless” ppl as muses for his clothing line w/ GAP. It’s wild that y’all think this dude is the all in all. Separate the talent from the man. It’s 1 of the reasons we should not “idol worship”.💯
— ᴀᴅᴄ ɴᴀᴛɪᴠᴇ (@adc_native) August 17, 2022
In 2021, Ye struck a 10-year deal for Yeezy Gap with Gap Inc. and the option to renew after 5 years.