Just after Gap announced its deal for a new line with Kanye West and Yeezy, the brand has confirmed that it has dropped another previously announced collaboration - a partnership with Telfar, the unisex New York City-based brand founded by designer Telfar Clemens.
The collaboration with Telfar was announced in mid-January but was postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 - a cause of major struggle for Gap. Like the newly unveiled Yeezy partnership, the Telfar collab was meant to bring the brand's pieces to more consumers through the Gap brand, at a more affordable price point.
Gap's partnership with West for the Yeezy Gap line was announced last week, revealing Nigerian-British designer Mowalola Ogunlesi as design director. At the time of the announcement, neither Gap Inc. nor the Gap brand had given any significant updates regarding the Telfar collaboration, leading to confusion among consumers. In addition, reports began to allege that Telfar had not received any compensation from Gap.
This week, Gap officially confirmed to multiple publications that the Telfar collaboration has been canceled. According to fashion watchdog Diet Prada, Gap sent an email to Telfar in March disclosing "that the collaboration was being pushed to 2021," and two days later Gap reportedly offered Telfar 25% of the design fee "as an advance for work completed prior to the postponement."
As multiple brands and organizations in both the fashion and beauty industries announce their intentions to uplift Black creatives amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests for racial justice, some industry personnel were disappointed to see what they interpreted as Gap prioritizing a bigger name.
"We were supposed to get telfar x gap," tweeted Nandi Howard, assistant fashion features editor at Essence. "And this makes it all a little bittersweet. I feel like the fashion industry sort of makes it to where one black designer or creative can be at the top. When we all should win. And have multiple collections - like they do for others."