Rapper and fashion entrepreneur, Kanye West is now worth a staggering $6.6 billion, according to a report confirmed by Billboard, making him the richest Black man in US history.
According to a private document obtained by Billboard, Yeezy – West’s sneaker and apparel business with both Adidas and Gap – has been valued at between $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion by the Swiss investment bank UBS Group. As much as $970 million of that total is tied to West’s new clothing line for Gap (under the Yeezy Gap label) that the retailer has slated for release by July, part of a 10-year agreement the parties signed in June of last year.
The document further reveals that Gap, an ailing brand whose partnership with West represents a play for younger consumers, expects its Yeezy line to break $150 million in sales in its first full year in 2022 and envisions it surpassing a billion dollars in revenue within eight years, or even as soon as 2023 on the upside. West stands to profit handsomely in any event, as he retains sole ownership and creative control of the Yeezy brand and earns royalties on sales under the deal, with the rate increasing as the business grows. He’ll also receive stock warrants when the collection hits sales targets, with the highest set at $700 million, according to a securities filing.
West’s longstanding deal with Adidas has been the most lucrative part of his business endeavors to date, with Yeezy sneakers continuing to fly off of shelves; according to the documents, the brand grew 31% to nearly $1.7 billion in annual revenue last year, netting Yeezy royalties of $191 million. West has been in business with the company since 2013, with their current deal running through 2026.
The spotlight recently has shone on West more for his personal life than his art, after his partner of nearly a decade, Kim Kardashian, filed for divorce.
Before the news broke, their union had been dogged for months by reports of marital difficulties. West has battled with mental health issues, and launched an improbable and controversial foray into US presidential politics.