Kanye West may have just revealed another piece from his hotly anticipated collection with Gap

Kanye West attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Kanye West attends the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

  • Kanye West wore a jacket that looks like a black version of one from his collection with Gap.
  • Gap debuted a bright blue jacket last month, the first product in its collaboration with Yeezy.
  • The jacket cost $200 and was available for preorder.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kanye West may have just given us a sneak peek at another item from his hotly anticipated collaboration with Gap.

The rapper and Yeezy founder was spotted Wednesday at the Balenciaga Fall 2021 Couture show in Paris, the legendary design house’s first couture collection since the 1960s, led by designer Demna Gvasalia.

West took in the show with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, NBA star James Harden, rapper Lil Baby, and model Bella Hadid while wearing a face-obscuring hood – a new wardrobe staple for West – black pants, Yeezy Foam Runners, and a black jacket that looks identical to the one Gap unveiled last month:

Kanye West seated at Balenciaga fashion show wearing Gap jacket
Model Bella Hadid, Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, Kanye West, NBA star James Harden, and rapper Lil Baby watch the Balenciaga Fall 2021 Couture show.

The $200 jacket, which Gap has only displayed in a vibrant blue colorway so far, is the first product created in collaboration with West’s Yeezy brand. Gap made it available for preorder last month, and the rush to lay claim to the jacket initially crashed the site. (Multiple reports claimed the jacket had sold out, but there was no finite number of jackets, just a limited preorder window.)

Read more: Even Kanye West can’t save Gap, UBS says in brutal report on the retailer’s Yeezy deal

Gap debuted the first product in its Yeezy collaboration on Instagram.

A spokesperson for Gap did not immediately respond to questions about the jacket and whether the black version is part of the collection. But in videos posted of West from the show, the jacket appears to be made from the same shiny fabric and have the same rounded shape. Like the Gap version, West’s jacket doesn’t appear to have any button or zipper closures.

A post shared by WWD (@wwd)

Gap’s partnership with Yeezy, announced over a year ago, was seen as a major coup for the over-50-year-old brand. While some analysts remain skeptical that West can help revive the struggling retailer where he worked as a teenager, news of the deal initially sent Gap’s share price through the roof.

Despite the long lead time before launching the first item in the collection, Gap CEO Sonia Syngal said during a company earnings call earlier this year that partnerships like the one with West are expected to have “very big potential for us.”

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Kanye West is suing Walmart for selling ‘virtually indistinguishable’ knockoffs of his foam Yeezy shoes

kanye west
Kanye West speaks on stage at the “Kanye West and Steven Smith in Conversation with Mark Wilson” at the on November 07, 2019 in New York City.

  • Kanye West sued Walmart on Thursday for selling a lookalike of his Yeezy Foam Runner shoe.
  • The Yeezy shoes initially sold for $75, but Walmart’s similar version from a third party sold for around $20 to $30.
  • The lawsuit comes just months after Walmart and West feuded over a new Yeezy logo.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kanye West sued Walmart on Thursday, accusing the retail giant of selling knockoff versions of his Yeezy Foam Runners.

The billionaire’s lawsuit alleges that Walmart has been profiting off his name by selling foam sliders that look “virtually indistinguishable” from his Yeezy Foam Runners. West is suing to have the shoes removed from Walmart’s site, as well as for monetary damages. The suit said the Yeezy brand is worth ‘billions’ of dollars and the company believes it has suffered damages in the “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Yeezy foam runners

When West’s slip-on foam sneakers were introduced in 2019 for $75, they garnered some ridicule, with some people comparing the shoes to Crocs on social media. Nonetheless, the shoes quickly sold out and have since been resold for up to three times there original price, while the Walmart shoes were selling for around $20 to $30, according to documents filed in a Los Angeles court.

The lawsuit said that West has built the Yeezy brand off of his success as an American icon and Walmart is profiting off his image, pointing to celebrities, including his former wife Kim Kardashian and other public figures like Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg, who have been photographed wearing Yeezy shoes.

The Yeezy brand said in the suit that the shoes caught its attention when posts on numerous social-media sites started taking off by advertising that people could buy the shoes, that some users called “budget Yeezys,” on Walmart’s website. The lawsuit argues that the Walmart shoes would not have sold if they had not been recognized as similar to Yeezys.

The Yeezy brand initially reached out to Walmart on Wednesday to pull the shoes from their online marketplace, but said as of its court filing date on Thursday that Walmart had failed to pull the product.

A Walmart spokesperson told Insider the company is actively reviewing the claim. An Adidas spokesperson declined to comment.

“The product referenced in the complaint is not sold by Walmart, but rather by third-party Marketplace sellers,” the Walmart spokesperson said.

As of Friday, Insider was unable to find the foam runners on Walmart’s website that were pictured in the lawsuit, as well as the initial TMZ report. The shoes were be sold by third-party sellers, including sellers listed as Daeful and LUXUR. The lawsuit said Yeezy had identified up to 10 sellers on the site, but had not been able to ascertain their identity. Insider has attempted to reach out to Daeful, and was unable to find contact information for LUXOR.

West said the “subpar” Walmart shoes have not only cut into Yeezy’s market share, but have also impacted the brand’s reputation, pointing to reviews on the site that say the imitations shoes are “garbage” and “ripped after 20 minutes.”

Thursday’s suit comes a few months after a dispute between West and Walmart over a logo that the rapper wants to use for Yeezy. Walmart said it had reached out to the Adidas brand five times over concerns that Yeezy’s new logo was too similar to Walmart’s own logo and would “create a false affiliation” between the two brands that could damage Walmart’s “goodwill.”

At the time, a Yeezy representative did not respond to a request for comment from Insider, but people close to West have said it is unlikely that Yeezy would try to affiliate the brand with Walmart’s image.

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Kanye West was spotted wearing the new Gap Yeezy jacket and Nike shoes – but he still has 5 years left on his partnership with Adidas

Kanye West at 2008 Grammy awards
Kanye West at 2008 Grammy awards

  • Kanye West stepped out wearing Nike shoes and his newly-announced Gap x Yeezy jacket last week.
  • West has a partnership with Adidas, which controls the site his Yeezy shoes are sold on, per Bloomberg.
  • Some social media users speculated he could be signalling an end to his Adidas deal by wearing Nike.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kanye West wore Nike shoes when he stepped out in the newly announced first product of his Gap and Yeezy collaboration.

West, who founded the apparel brand Yeezy, was spotted out on June 3 wearing Nike shoes and a bright blue puffy coat. A week after the photos were taken, Gap announced the $200 coat would be the first product created in collaboration with Yeezy.

West and Adidas announced the two would partner in 2013, in a deal reportedly worth $10 million at the time. Bloomberg reported Yeezy has a valuation of $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion, per investment bank UBS, due to the lucrative partnerships with Gap and Adidas. The partnership with Adidas, Bloomberg notes, runs through 2026.

Social media users pointed out the Nike shoes, and speculated whether he was in breach of the Adidas contract or announcing an end to the partnership.

West has ownership over the Yeezy brand, but Adidas operates the website his shoes are sold on. Yeezy x Adidas sneaker sales amounted to $1.7 billion in 2020, according to Bloomberg, netting West with $191 million in royalties.

West’s first sneaker, the $245 limited-edition Air Yeezy, was released in collaboration with Nike in 2009. The shoe later sold on the resale market for thousands of dollars, and a prototype of the shoe with a value of more than $1 million could become the priciest sneakers ever sold.

Some analysts and insiders consider Yeezy one of the most influential sneaker brands ever, reportedly inspiring the now-popular shoe brand Allbirds, Insider’s Mary Hanbury reported.

Nike, Adidas, and a representative for Kanye West did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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A pair of shoes Kanye West wore at the Grammys in 2008 just broke the record for the most valuable sneaker sale ever

Yeezy prototype
  • Sneakers worn by Kanye West shattered the record for the most expensive shoes ever sold.
  • The Yeezy prototypes West wore at the 2008 Grammys were sold to RARES, a sneaker-investment platform.
  • The shoes went for $1.8 million, more than triple the previous record for a recorded shoe sale.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In 2008, Kanye West wore high-top black Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes on stage at the Grammy Awards, where he performed “Stronger” and “Hey Mama.” Now, those same sneakers have sold for $1.8 million to RARES, a sneaker-investing platform. The shoes are the prototype of West’s Yeezy line, and they’re the most expensive sneaker sale ever recorded.

The pair of Yeezy sneakers was the first recorded shoe sale to top $1 million, according to New York-based auction house Sotheby’s. The sneakers were the first-ever shoe in West’s Yeezy line, which, in the years since, has contributed to West’s becoming a billionaire and a major player in sneaker and streetwear culture.

Ryan Chang, who listed the shoes at Sotheby’s and collects and curates streetwear under the handle of @applied.arts.nyc, worked with Sotheby’s on the sale to RARES.

RARES will launch sales of shares of the sneakers on June 16, according to the platform’s website, which entreats users to “own a piece of the world’s most valuable shoe.”

RARES said that users can “reserve a spot” to buy shares of the valuable sneakers. Users create an account and are notified when shares of the shoe open up for sale. RARES sells these and other sneakers as SEC-approved investments and allows for collective ownership of the shoes.

Shares of shoes sold on the platform usually run between $15 and $25, according to the company. Gerome Sapp, the CEO of RARES, said in a press release that acquiring the Yeezys worn by West would allow “millions of individuals the ability to now invest in the culture.”

The Yeezy prototypes dethroned another Nike Air model for the title of most expensive sneakers sold at auction – the Nike Air Jordan 1s signed and worn during a game by basketball star Michael Jordan. They sold in May of 2020 at Sotheby’s for $560,000.

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Kanye West’s first pair of Yeezy sneakers are expected to sell for over $1 million, making them the most expensive pair ever

Kanye West at 2008 Grammy awards
Kanye West at 2008 Grammy awards

  • The first pair of Yeezys that Kanye West ever wore in public are expected to sell for over $1 million.
  • West debuted his sneaker brand during his 2008 Grammy performance.
  • Sotheby’s is selling the sneakers after an exhibition in Hong Kong wraps up.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The shoes that spawned Kanye West’s sneaker empire are going up for sale at the historic Sotheby’s auction house.

The Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes are expected to sell for over $1 million, according to Sotheby’s estimates, making them the most expensive sneakers to ever hit the market.

The shoes represent the first Yeezy sneakers ever worn in public by West when he debuted them at the Grammy Awards in 2008 during his performance of “Hey Mama” and “Stronger.” The shoes feature a faded Nike swoosh, alongside West’s signature Yeezy strap.

Yeezy sneakers on sale at Sotheby's
Yeezy sneakers on sale at Sotheby’s

The sneakers will be sold in a custom wooden box that features a design from the shoe’s designer, Mark Smith.

Yeezy sneaker box

The size-12 shoes will be on display at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center from April 16 through 21 and will be available for private sale through Sotheby’s site after the exhibition.

West’s 2008 Grammy moment created a buzz among sneakerheads and, ultimately, helped West achieve a billionaire status in 2020. Sneaker collector Ryan Cheng, who is listing the shoes for the private sale, said in a press release that the shoes encapsulate a cultural movement.

“There he was, Kanye West, on stage at the Grammys, winning 4 awards just that evening, and unveiling an incredibly important and iconic design in Nike’s storied history,” Cheng said.

Sotheby's Yeezy sale

The highest known sneaker sale to date was a pair of autographed Nike Air Jordan’s that were worn by Michael Jordan in 1985, according to CNN. The shoes sold for $615,000 in 2020 on Christie’s site.

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Kanye West is now reportedly worth $6.6 billion thanks to his Yeezy brand’s apparel and footwear deals, making him the richest Black American in history

Kanye West
  • Kanye West is the wealthiest Black person in US history with a reported net worth of $6.6 billion.
  • USB values West’s Yeezy collaboration with Gap at $3.2 to $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.
  • That valuation brings the mogul’s net worth to a historic new high.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kanye West just became the wealthiest Black person US history.

The multifaceted star’s new net worth tops out at $6.6 billion, thanks to a new valuation of West’s Yeezy collaborations with Gap and Adidas, according to a report from Bloomberg. The publication reviewed a document from UBS Group AG outlining economic predictions for the rapper-turned-fashion mogul.

The bank estimated the Yeezy shoe collaboration with Adidas and the upcoming Yeezy clothing collaboration with Gap Inc. are worth about $3.2 to $4.7 billion, according to the report. About $970 million of that is attributable to the Gap deal, Bloomberg reports. The collection for the retailer will feature men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and is expected to drop sometime this summer.

West’s net worth is also boosted by $1.7 billion invested across a number of assets, including Kim Kardashian West’s Skims brand, according to Bloomberg, which viewed unaudited documents provided by West’s attorney. The rapper holds around $122 million in stocks and liquid assets, the report said, and his music catalog has reportedly been valued at more than $110 million.

Forbes claims West is likely “worth less than a third” of that $6.6 billion – $1.8 billion – calling the “sky-high estimate” only “the latest of West’s attempts to inflate his net worth.” The outlet said it would not speculate any value for the Gap collaboration “until the products start to sell.”

The Yeezy clothing partnership with Gap Inc. was announced in June of last year, sending the retailer’s stock soaring, but analysts at the time were skeptical.

“For the deal to truly change Gap’s outlook, it has to increase Gap’s relevance with consumers so the rest of its business stops shrinking,” UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in a note sent to clients following the announcement. “We don’t think this will happen.”

In September of last year West appeared on an episode of Nick Cannon’s podcast “Cannons Class” and said that his net worth rose to $5 billion after announcing his partnership with Gap earlier that year.

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