Written by Leah Dolan, CNN
Kanye West — who changed his name to Ye in 2021 — has come under fire for what’s being described as a visual merchandising strategy at the Gap. Instead of displaying the latest Yeezy x Gap collection on traditional hangers and t-shirt plinths, the clothes appear in giant trash bags dotted around the shop floor.
In a viral post now liked by more than 57,000 people, a New York-based Twitter user said Gap employees “won’t help you find your size too, you just have to just dig through everything.” The photo spread across the internet, with many declaring the unconventional display technique “a social experiment.”
Representatives for Gap and Ye did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“I love Kanye,” another Twitter user posted, “but couldn’t imagine paying $200 for basic clothes out of a bag on the floor.”
This isn’t the first time West’s brand Yeezy has been at the center of controversy. In 2020, Yeezy received backlash after unveiling two new sneaker products titled “Israfil” and “Asriel” — the names of Islamic angels in the Muslim faith. Many denounced the move as blasphemous and disrespectful, and a petition to boycott the shoes with over 2,000 signatures circulated online.
Up against the convenience of online shopping, more and more brands are devising off-the-wall physical retail experiences in the hopes of triggering a viral moment and enticing consumers to visit brick-and-mortar locations. In May, cult-favorite French label Jacquemus opened “Le Bleu” at Selfridges London — a pop-up space designed like a giant, icy-blue tiled bathroom. Just last week, Danish brand Ganni promoted a new collaboration by turning a store into a greengrocer, allowing shoppers to not only pick up pieces from the new collection, but local produce too.
The unusual Yeezy Gap store display could be a marketing stunt, aimed at drawing attention back toward his ongoing partnership with the retailer. But while other labels are striving to go bigger, West as always appears to be going against the grain — seemingly making a louder impact with a minimalistic approach.
August 18, 2022 at 01:50AM