Love him or hate him. One thing is for sure: Kanye West is a trendsetter. The recent Yeezy+GAP release of his “Perfect Hoodie” is yet another proof of West’s influence as a trailblazing designer. All six plain colors sold out in record time with astronomical prices in the resale market, even before product ships! The hype and marketability of West is undeniable.
Following his dream of creating a legacy of Yeezy’s available to every household, Kanye teamed up with GAP in 2020 to create a line of apparel with mainstream appeal. Immediately following its announcement of the ten-year collaboration endeavor with the rapper, the company stocks surged. When the blue puffer “GAP Round Jacket” dropped this summer, it sold $7million overnight, according to former C.E.O, Mickey Drexler. Subsequent success of the black color way further evidenced West’s ability to influence popular opinion, in spite of an eccentric shape and missing zippers. An indication anything Kanye touches in fashion turns into gold.
With a history of teasing designs that endure ridicule in the initial stages then become iconic staples — think 350 V2, the ‘dad shoe’ craze of the 700 Wave Runner to the summer must-have Yeezy Slides — consumers are accustomed to West’s seemingly unorthodox approach that evolves into iconic trends. Naturally, consumers banked on his interpretations of everyday fashion to do just the same.
In this second iteration of his collaboration with the retail giant, West managed to woo fans with a “Perfect Hoodie.” When the lineup first leaked in social media, criticisms included lack of prominent logo or obvious designs and, thus, a price point that didn’t seem to justify a plain, generic hoodie. But when it quietly dropped on a Wednesday morning, in late September, all colors were “sold out” within a few hours, despite intermittent restocks and an expected shipping date up to 8 weeks.
Anticipated to be double layers of 100% cotton, the “Perfect Hoodie” comes in six solid signature Yeezy colors — black, red, purple, brown, mustard yellow and a bright blue — where many have likened each color way to his popular albums. But the true genius of such simple color way is in its appeal for the mainstream consumers. Combined with comfort synonymous to the Yeezy brand, the quality and versatility of these cozy sweatshirts will inevitably become an essential piece in everyone’s wardrobe. Although they are expected to be worn somewhat crop-length, with oversized sleeves and kangaroo pockets, what sets these apart is the absence of drawstrings around the hoodie, which we can only assume to be a key component of perfection in West’s vision.
Remarkably, the “Perfect Hoodie” is reselling on platforms such as StockX and Depop at five to ten times its $90 retail price, even before it ships. It may be hard to see the hype behind such simple, understated pieces garnering this much attention. Perhaps curiosity is part of the inflated aftermarket value. Perhaps it is knowing the first release of any Yeezy silhouette has a propensity to generate insane values, over time. One thing is certain, it’s a first!
For GAP, West is not only a “creative visionary” but also a lifeline for the struggling retail conglomerate, aspiring to reclaim its glory as the industry giant. This is just the beginning for Yeezy+GAP.