Gap quietly unveiled the latest offering from its collaboration with rapper Kanye West yesterday, a $90 Yeezy hoodie available in six different colors for pre-order. Within hours the sweatshirts were selling out, and most adult sizes were unavailable by Thursday morning (Sept. 30).
The sweatshirts are now reselling on the online marketplace Depop for as high as $899.99. Several sellers on eBay have also listed the hoodies at prices ranging from $140 to $550.
Kanye’s appeal to Gap and fans
The appeal of a Kanye collaboration is obvious for a company like Gap, which has struggled to remain relevant in recent years. The retailer anticipates bringing in $1 billion within eight years from the Yeezy line and saw its stock rise after the hoodie rollout on Sept. 29. A $200 blue puffer jacket also sold out within hours in June.
With the Yeezy collaboration, Gap is tapping into a huge and loyal fan base. One fan told The Fader in 2016 that he had amassed enough Kanye apparel over the years to dress himself every day, while another started a “digital museum” to document the history of the rapper’s merchandise.
West himself has been savvy about building his merchandise business over the years. Yeezy, his sneaker and apparel line, is now valued as high as $4.7 billion with the Gap deal, accounting for the majority of his wealth.
Collaborations mean big money for the secondary market
If a Kanye collaboration is a lucrative investment for Gap, it could also mean big money for re-sellers. Yeezy sneakers, which the rapper previously released with Nike and now with Adidas, go for thousands of dollars on the resale market. The Nike Air Yeezy 2 has the second-highest resale value on the consignment site The RealReal, nearly 2,800% higher than the original tag.
The secondary market for Yeezys grew so crazy that in 2017 the rapper released the $200 shoes as a bundle with other items to try to keep resellers from snapping them up as quickly. Nevertheless, there’s still a healthy appetite for the rapper’s merch online, as is evidenced by shirts from his recent listening party for the DONDA album that recently listed for $1,000.