It’s only been seven days into the year of our lord 2022, and we’ve already been hit with one of the biggest fashion collaborations — or, according to the parties involved, “creative exploration” — to date so far. As part of Kanye West’s 10-year deal with Gap, the fashion line Yeezy Gap announced upcoming releases that will be “engineered by” Balenciaga, specifically its creative director Demna Gvasalia, who now goes by his first name in a recent name change. Titled Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga, the upcoming (and most likely very highly anticipated) releases are slated to drop throughout 2022.
Ye and Demna’s friendship and creative partnership goes all the way back to 2014, when he first discovered the Georgian designer as one of the founders behind the just-debuted-brand Vetements. According to Complex, Ye tapped Demna to help design Yeezy Season 1 in 2015, and by 2016, Demna presented his debut collection as creative director of Balenciaga. Though, Ye had already taken to Twitter with plans to poach the designer. “I’m going to steal Demna from Balenciaga,” he wrote in February of that year.
In an interview with Vanity Fair back in 2015, Ye was even sharing his vision to revamp Gap with Demna: “I sent [Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia] a text right before showing him one of the looks that Joe Mckenna did. And I just told him, this is my romance with the Gap. I picture the Gap in some way different than I think the rest of people picture it.”
Now, seven years later, Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga has finally been manifested. Ahead, we break down what to expect from the upcoming “creative exploration” through 2022.
What is Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga?
According to the announcement’s official release, Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga “continues Ye’s commitment to bringing creativity to the forefront and delivering his vision of utilitarian design for all.”
Back in early August 2021, we got our first glimpse of an “Engineered By Balenciaga” collection upon the release of Ye’s tenth studio album Donda. The debut listening event at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium was creative directed by Demna, along with designed merch that reportedly made $7 million in sales that night. More Balenciaga-made merch was also released by the end of that month, priced between $60 and $200, and featuring long-sleeve graphic tees, caps, and fully-covered face masks, which was Ye’s signature accessory while promoting the album.
In December, the rapper also hosted a Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert with Drake, marking the end of the two artists’ longtime feud. The major event, which aimed to raise awareness towards criminal justice reform efforts, included limited-edition merch by Ye and Demna, such as hoodies (similar to Yeezy Gap’s previous release), T-shirts, jumpsuits, baseball tees, caps, and repurposed vintage jeans, ranging in price from $60 to $400.
“There are very few people that I know, especially of Ye’s caliber, who really understand my work so well,” said Demna in an interview with Vogue. “He makes me come out of my comfort zone and be a better designer. There’s no ego when we collaborate, just a mutual drive to evolve and do something great and new.”
When and where can I buy Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga?
The first drop of Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga is expected in June, according to Vogue, and will be available across the globe, with a second drop arriving later in 2022. Alongside that, additional Yeezy Gap releases will continue throughout the year, as well. We’ll update this news story as we learn more.