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Kanye West Worked at Gap Store as a Teen — Look inside His Early Years before Fame

Bettina Dizon
Dec 13, 2020
01:40 P.M.
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Kanye West is one of the most celebrated and talented musical artists who also pursued a path in the fashion industry after once working at Gap.


Fame and fortune are two words associated with Kanye West after his successes made him the man he is today. However, like many other celebrities, the rapper came from humble beginnings and rose from many challenges.

Before making his 2004 debut album, “College Dropout,” which was inspired by his own experience leaving university to pursue music, West took on a job at a famous retail store that contributed to his passion for fashion.

Kanye West poses for a photo outdoors, July 29, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images


He first lived in China at ten years old, where his mom taught students in a program. West experienced discrimination at its finest there as people would rub his face to see if the color would come off.

What happened in China was a terrible experience that he believed was necessary to prepare him for the real world; hence, the lyrics in his track “Never Let Me Down.”

Kanye West at the SiriusXM Studios on November 26, 2013. | Source: Getty Images


The “Power” artist worked at Gap at the young age of 15, barely affording the clothing around him. Although he focused on his music career soon after, there was one thing that was clear in his head -- he liked clothes. West recalled:

“I don’t think I had any desire to actually make clothes, but I always felt like that’s what I wanted to be around. I loved the fabrics, I loved the colors, I loved the proportions.”

Kanye West during the Tidal launch event #TIDALforALL at Skylight at Moynihan Station on March 30, 2015 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


While attending the American Academy of Art on a scholarship, West fell in love with music and decided to use it to paint instead of doing so visually. Admittedly, he loved music more then than he does now.

He sometimes sports matching outfits with his wife, Kim Kardashian-West, including a latex suit during their trip to Wyoming.


From his success in the music industry, the “Famous” rapper tried to enter the fashion industry only to face an audience that did not take him seriously. However, things changed and progressed through time as he held on to a vision. He said:

“I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of Gap. I’m talking about full Hedi Slimane creative control of the Gap is what I would like to do.”

Today, West is also celebrated for his fashion and line of shoes. He sometimes sports matching outfits with his wife, Kim Kardashian-West, including a latex suit during their trip to Wyoming.

In an Instagram post, the pair looked sweet, posing before a scenic view. The SKIMS owner dressed in a chocolate brown latex suit, while her husband donned a black long-sleeved version.