The up-coming collaboration between Gap and Kanye West’s Yeezy was the big story this week in fashion. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for Gap, which has been hanging out in the norm-core doldrums for way too long now its constant running sales making it seem more like a permanent discount store than anything else. Apparently, they have been in talks with West for years, but perhaps it took a global pandemic and a lockdown to seal the deal. Yeezy, after all, is the ideal clothing aesthetic for a world that is no longer getting very dressed.
I’m not knocking it. I’m writing this in a pair of Lululemon green leggings and an oversized marl grey Peanuts sweatshirt – sludgy colours and easy performance fabric, if you squinted it could be straight off the Yeezy catwalk. It’s how we all dress now. Active-wear for the inactive.
But will it stick? Yes! For the foreseeable, with WFH now part of the new normal and people less inclined to go to big public events – should they re-start. There are fewer occasions to get really dressed up for and all the while we’re getting used to feeling comfortable. And let’s note that the YZY deal is for ten years.
In terms of fashion PR for the season to come, I think this means messaging should focus on the ease and comfort of clothing – even tailoring (good luck) and evening wear (remember evenings?). Fabrics are going to matter in terms of feel and stretch and provenance – natural and sustainable materials are good talking points. So is colour – the YZY image that was made public suggested bright block colour will be a signature. Shapes and cuts will be forgiving, like the breezy picnic dresses we’ve seen so much of this summer.
Easy is not the word to describe the difficult task of fashion PR right now, but that’s how your brand’s clothing ranges have to look.