Yeezy x Gap x Balenciaga: It doesn’t get better than this
You can’t buy culture
Yeezy Gap Engineered
Kanye West announced progressive fashion’s most sought-after collab of this year just a couple of days ago. The project titled “Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga” seems to be in the works already (thanks to the visible update by Christine Centenera) and is expected to deliver the real good good.
And that is not only because it combines high fashion’s and hiphop’s most hyped progressives.
Yeezy x GAP x Balenciaga is the (even cooler) counterpart of projects like H&M x Simone Rocha or Uniqlo x Phillip Lim. While these fast fashion x high fashion fusions are exciting on their own, they ain’t got no Yeezy in their Serato.
It’s not yet clear what exactly awaits us. We do know a couple of things: 1. The (first?) roll-out is set to be in June 2022. 2. Yeezy x GAP has been working without a clear drop schedule. 3. Kanye’s previous pieces are taking all the shine, even without branding.
And, of course, we do know a thing or two about Kanye West’s and Demna Gvasalia’s previous work, their philosophy and their ability to create crazy cult followings. How will they both utilize this for their upcoming project? Let’s talk.
Traditionally, high fashion isn’t about being accessible. From its pricing to the exclusivity of the industry, high fashion has been and still is a niche that only a few can access and enjoy. For Kanye’s work in the industry, that is not the case.
Whether it’s Yeezy or Yeezy x GAP. The price points of Ye’s pieces have always been a little higher but far from “high fashion”. One could think, that this would make them less exclusive. But Kanye isn’t about being exclusive.
“Taste shouldn’t be used to separate”
Yeezy goods were presented on the same occasion as their more expensive sisters but never resembled the same pricing. Since the beginning of the brand, Ye has been dropping ready-to-wear pieces that are easy to wear and can be incorporated into the everyday wardrobe of many.
In a way, Yeezy is for the people. While still fulfilling the higher taste levels of your average fashion geek. That doesn’t mean that it’s accessible for everybody. After all, Kanye, who has mastered the art of hype, isn’t mass-producing. So, in order to get your hands on Yeezy (or Yeezy x GAP), you need to take your time, sit in front of the computer and be fast. What you don’t need: Huge amounts of money. Isn’t that fun?
Ignoring bots and exclusive drops, this is what sets Streetwear apart. If you want the goods, you need to know your shit. You need to be part of the movement and know about drop dates and news. Following the spirit of Hiphop, Yeezy is for people of the culture.
isn’t cool anymore
Demna Gvasalia follows a similar philosophy. The star-designer changed the industry with Vetements, the fashion label he, his brother, and four other designers found in 2014. Starting in the Parisian club undergrounds, this label soon moved onto the runways of your old-fashioned Maisons.
The label quickly caught the eyes of fashion connoisseurs and hypebeasts alike with its crazy hyper-normal designs. Who remembers the “DHL” shirt? Or the “Polizei” jacket? At the height of its extreme hype, Vetements made clothes that were so normal, that they suddenly weren’t.
“For Vetements we design clothes that people can actually buy and wear” – Demna Gvasalia
That way, Demna Gvasalia, who got appointed to Creative Director of Balenciaga in 2015 created a whole cult around himself and his designs.
Why are dad shoes still high fashion? Why are unnecessarily long hoodies still hot? Because Demna said so. And his hype-loving cult happily approves. To understand Demna Gvasalia, whose designs are heavily inspired by street and punk, you need to understand the culture. Or even better – be part of it.
Ultimately, this is what connects Kanye and Demna.
You can’t buy
So, what makes Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga better than all the other high-low luxury drops? It’s culture.
This three-way project isn’t just another collab. It’s two cultural phenomena coming together, combining their cults and celebrating each other’s art. The dangerously cool kids of high fashion are combining their expertise and their connection to the masses to make high-taste goods without high prices.
It’s not about the price anyways. Yeezy x Gap x Balenciaga is good because it moves people. It has cultural relevance and tells the story of Kanye, Demna and their philosophy. This is something, you simply can’t buy.
There aren’t any teaser images of the pieces yet. Still, similar to the Yeezy x GAP spirit we can expect fun streetwear pieces with longevity and statement character. And pieces that will be sold out the second they drop.
- Claire Beermann –Der Neue. Zeitmagazin, 2016
- Radikal normal: Demna Gvasalia von Vetements. TZ.de, 2017
- “Kanye West on Being The Robin Hood of Fashion”. TIME Magazine, 2015 https://youtu.be/HKXqrPRECG0