Making Waves: Kanye West Hires Nike’s Nur Abbas as Design Head of Yeezy
The designer has maintained a two decade long career from working at Nike to Louis Vuitton.
Kanye “Ye” West has appointed Nur Abbas as the design head of his brand Yeezy—a new position in the company.
Not a stranger in the fashion world, Abbas has been in fashion for twenty years now. Most recently, the Kingston University graduate has been Nike’s design director for five years.
Before the director role, he was the head designer for Uniqlo in Paris, a designer for Gucci from 2004 to 2006, and a senior menswear designer at Louis Vuitton from 2006 to 2015.
In a statement, the Yeezy brand said Abbas’ position “will work to further expand the Yeezy empire, working directly with Ye to direct and launch special projects for the Yeezy brand.”
Beyond designing for the label, the designer will also contribute to West’s other projects, including his collaborations with Gap, Adidas, and the rapper’s merchandise.
“I’m energized to work with Ye because he cares so deeply about design and moving culture forward,” Abbas told WWD. “At Yeezy and Gap, I’ve met some of the most talented people and teams, and I’m looking forward to working with them all to extend this new creative vision to the world.”
Last February, West dropped YEEZY GAP Engineered by Balenciaga. The partnership between the three famous brands offers eight pieces, including a moto denim jacket, jeans, T-shirts, and hoodies.
Unlocking a new market
The value of the 10-year contract between West and Gap (they also own Athleta, Banana Republic, and Old Navy) is estimated at $970 million. The investment is for Gap’s entrance into the streetwear market, an industry worth about $185 billion by sales globally. And it seems to be working.
According to Bloomberg, in an investor call last November 23, Gap CEO Sonia Syngal said the Yeezy Gap hoodie from a prior release “delivered the most sales by a single item since the company launched its e-commerce website.” Over 70 percent of the buyers were first-time customers, satisfying their goal to unlock a new audience.
Banner photo from @straat0sphere on Instagram.