When hip-hop artists reach a certain stage in their careers, the obvious next step is to think big by releasing music and developing business in other areas. One of the first paths taken by many is the fashion industry, especially given the impact style has had on gender over time.
Kanye West – genius to some, selfish to others – is one of the most successful artists to leap into fashion, collaborating with a who’s-who of today’s biggest brands – Nike, adidas , APC and Louis Vuitton are just a few of its big name partnerships.
Her latest collaborative effort is with everyday fashion giant Gap, which was doing well under her YEEZY GAP imprint until recently.
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Ye is currently on one of his soon-to-be-deleted Instagram rants, where he continues to call out Gap for doing business behind his back, among other shady moves. “Gap called a meeting about me without me?” the GRAMMY-winning rapper recently posted to his more than 16 million followers (see above), along with a photo that appears to be in a showroom with the controversial new YEEZY GAP Engineered By Balenciaga collection placed on the ground.
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Currently, he is posting a series of IG posts that began with a video of him presenting to Gap Atlanta executives a passionate argument for ownership and creative freedom. The clip ends with him even threatening to quit if that doesn’t happen. Other videos appear to be what looks like Kanye rallying to go freelance, captioning a message that read, “The monster(s) are about to live again.”
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While we can’t confirm how long these IG posts will stay on Kanye’s page, we wish him nothing but the best in his quest to build a global fashion empire on his own terms. It made us think of a few other artists who had similar aspirations, and how many have gained compared to the few who ended up in the same “Gap Trap” that Ye currently finds himself in.
Take a look below at 8 hip-hop personalities who have gone from music to fashion with varying results:
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The Wins And Fails Of Hip-Hop Clothing Deals was originally posted on blackamericaweb.com
1. VICTORY: Diddy, Sean John
Beyond Sean John’s undeniable success in the late 90s and throughout the 2000s, Diddy’s eponymous label’s biggest win is that he recently bought it out and plans to relaunch it to take advantage of the current revival of the year 2000.
2. FAILURE: Nelly, VOKÂL
Although its sister brand, Apple Bottom Jeans, was more successful for Nelly in the 2000s, VOKĀL unfortunately had little life before becoming a discount mainstay at Marshalls.
3. WIN: Jay-Z, Rocawear
Rocawear is probably the greatest pioneer of the rapper clothing line trope, and outside of Diddy himself, it was the most successful in its heyday. You can still find people rocking it out of nostalgia.
4. FAILURE: Eve, fetish
Running at its peak during the airing of her titular three-season sitcom on UPN, on which she ironically plays a fashion designer, the line all but disappeared the minute the show went off the air. Talk about life by imitating art!
5. WIN: Tyler the Creator, GOLF WANG
From successful collaborations with Converse to Lacoste, Tyler takes the typical t-shirts, hoodies and long-sleeve shirts in a whole new cut-and-sew direction. The results have been amazing so far and don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
6. FAILURE: Rihanna, FENTY
Although a blip on the radar in her billion-dollar empire, Rihanna’s efforts to create a high-end fashion line under LVMH simply didn’t take off with the same success as a much larger collaboration. successful at the time with PUMA and its Savage x Lingerie FENTY.
7. VICTORY: Drake, OVO
As Drake continues to grow in the industry, his OVO footprint follows. Yorkdale’s flagship opening featured in many of the movie dramas above is just one of many stores October’s Very Own has opened in major cities around the world.
8. FAILURE: Kanye West, Pastel
Unfortunately, Kanye’s current feud with Gap isn’t the first opportunity for a fashionable fluke. Lots are still salty on his highly anticipated Pastelle line from the late 2000s, easily one of the biggest defunct brands in street fashion to date.