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‘It Doesn’t Make Any Sense’: Former Gap CEO Claims He Warned Kanye West Not to Partner with the Apparel Company 

Former Gap CEO Mickey Drexler doesn’t see a match made in heaven for his former employer and Grammy award-winning rapper and successful fashion designer Kanye West‘s new partnership. 

During a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Live, the businessman shared some details about his conversations with the “Jesus Walks” rapper just before he signed his 10-year deal with the apparel company. Drexler claims he cautioned the Chicago native not to do the deal, telling reporters, “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I told him he shouldn’t do the deal because it doesn’t make any sense in my opinion.” 

Kanye West is seen at ‘DONDA by Kanye West’ listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)

Yet he acknowledged Kanye’s already proven success following the release of three $200 YEEZY Gap puffer jackets — in blue, black, and most recently a red one, which he sported during the pre-release listening party he held for his yet-to-be-released tenth studio album, “DONDA.” Still, Drexler, who ran the company from 1983 to 2002, says the fashion designer isn’t a “corporate person,” which doesn’t help when “Gap is a big corporation.” 

“So, I know the jacket sold out,” he said. “They did $7 million on the jacket overnight. He is a smart guy, but he shouldn’t have done it. And I don’t think they should have done it either.”

When Gap announced the deal with West, its shares reportedly climbed nearly 42 percent — prompting investors to view this as a chance for the brand to revamp and relate to younger consumers. 

News first broke in June 2020 that Kanye was set to partner up with the very same brand he once worked for as a teenager growing up in Chicago.

West reflected on his time at Gap in an article he wrote for Paper magazine in 2015: “It’s funny that I worked at the Gap in high school, because in my past 15 years it seems like that’s the place I stood in my creative path — to be the gap, the bridge.”

He also noted how working there got him interested in clothing, even if he couldn’t afford it himself. “When I was working at the Gap at 15, I don’t think I had any desire to actually make clothes, but I always felt like that’s what I wanted to be around. I loved the fabrics, I loved the colors, I loved the proportions,” he wrote. “Abercrombie was too expensive for me and the Gap was too expensive for me. Even though I worked at the Gap, I didn’t get enough hours to get a discount because I was a part-time employee, because I went to high school.”

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