NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 11: Models pose during season 3 of Kanye West Yeezy on February 11, 2016 in New York. (Photo by JP Yim / Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3)
CODY, Wyoming – Kanye West’s Yeezy brand has chosen an unusual location to build a manufacturing center for its collaborations with Gap and Adidas. In an interview with Cody Enterprise, the designer and musician has announced plans to create jobs and begin national footwear and clothing manufacturing in Wyoming.
A spokesperson told BoF that the plan was to produce more than a million pairs of shoes in the state by the beginning of next year, with production of clothing to begin in the United States “little after”.
Wyoming is an unusual choice to serve as the center of a fast-growing fashion empire. The state has experienced a boom in energy jobs in recent years, but has virtually no textile industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 100 people in the state were employed as sewing machine operators, one of the most common occupations in the sector, in May 2019. Workers are likely to be brought in from outside the State, as Cody’s population was just under 10,000 in 2018.
“We had to start our Yeezy organization in Wyoming,” said West. Business. Matt George, the brand’s commercial director, added that most of the positions will be entry-level with training.
The company has a sample of shoes and a prototype facility in Cody, with plans to staff it in the next 30 to 60 days, the newspaper said. Yeezy declined to say how many jobs the projects would create.
West slowly expanded its presence in Wyoming, traveling there frequently in 2017 and recording an album and hosting a listening party the following year. He also allegedly bought several properties in the vicinity of Cody and moved members of his Yeezy design team to the state.
West has previously mentioned ambitious plans to expand Yeezy’s operations within Cody. In one New York Times Profile this year, he discussed farming the land in order to produce “sewing seed” in the city. He refers to his property there as “Campus Yeezy”, according to GQ.
Domestic production is often too expensive for brands, and many depend on global supply chains outside the United States where labor is cheaper and mass production is faster. Only two of the hundreds of factories Gap works with are based in the United States, Brooklyn, and Long Beach, California. fresh. The factory closed last year.
Yeezy’s partnership with Adidas was a resounding success, generating $ 1.3 billion last year according to Forbes.
Announced last week, the brand’s Gap deal will include clothing for men, women and children and is expected to hit the market in 2021. The collaboration is expected to be in line with Gap’s current prices.
West has several other plans for Cody, including the development of single-family, skate-friendly dome houses to accommodate artists and Sunday service attendees.
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