The creative director position at Gap is currently vacant, after the ailing clothing retailer cut ties with Rebakka Bay. Now there’s an unlikely candidate to fill the position: Kanye West.
In an exclusive interview with Style.com, conducted in New York last week as the rapper launched his Adidas Originals Collection, West revealed that one of his long-held dreams is to become the creative director at Gap.
Or, as he put it: “I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of Gap.”
He went on to explain:
“Perhaps this is a bit of a demo tape. When I say Steve Jobs of the Gap, as I talk to the people at the Gap right now [leans into tape recorder], I’m not talking about a capsule. I’m talking about full Hedi Slimane creative control of the Gap is what I would like to do. And I can say this because it doesn’t conflict with my Adidas contract. [laughs]”
This is not the first time Kanye has offered his services to Gap. In 2013 he approached Gap to discuss a collaboration. The discussions broke down early on, he told The New York Times.
“I went to the Gap and I said ‘Lemme try to do something’ and I couldn’t get past the politics. And I’m like ‘I’m telling you, I got it. I know it. I can do it. Gimme a shot.’ Our first night [on the Yeezus Tour] we sold $US83,000 in tour merch. Imagine if you take these thoughts and connect it with a corporation like the Gap.”
Kanye even raps about working for Gap in “Spaceship” on the 2004 “The College Dropout” album. But it doesn’t sound like he was a model employee. The (NSFW) lyrics go:
Man, man, man
If my manager insults me again, I will be assaulting him
After I f*** the manager up then I’m gonna shorten the register up
Let’s go back, back to the Gap
Look at my check, wasn’t no scratch
So if I stole, wasn’t my fault
Yeah I stole they never got caught
They take me to the back and pat me
Asking me about some khakis
But let some black people walk in
I bet they show their token blackie
Oh now they love Kanye, let’s put him in front of the store
So I quit, y’all welcome
This time around, however, there’s every reason for Gap to give Kanye a trial. Gap’s January sales fell 9% year on year, following months of sales declines as the company’s “Dress Normal” advertising campaign fails to drum up interest from consumers. Perhaps the Kanye factor could inject some much-needed spark.