What in the World—Week of January 17

Kanye West’s new video is a Gap ad
Gap continues to see strong sales for its Kanye West collaboration, with interest in the new Yeezy Gap hoodie spiking following the release of West’s newest music video, which doubles as an ad for the hoodie. The video for West’s  “Heaven and Hell” features masked people wearing the hoodies. According to WWD, searches for “Gap hoodies” increased 287% in the hours after the video was released, while searches for “Gap products” were up 18%, and “Yeezy products” up 17%. Gap’s deal with West, who now goes by Ye, is reportedly worth $1 billion over 10 years. The collection debuted last summer with a $200 puffer coat, and earlier this month it was revealed West will work with Balenciaga for a “Yeezy Gap engineered by Balenciaga” collaboration later this year.

Spain to regulate crypto-currency advertising
Spain has introduced new rules to govern the “rampant” advertising of crypto assets, says Reuters. The government said on Monday that advertisers marketing cryptocurrencies will be required to inform the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) a minimum of 10 days in advance about the content of campaigns aimed at more than 100,000 people. The new regulations take effect in mid-February. In November, the CNMV reprimanded soccer star Andres Iniesta for promoting the cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance on his social accounts, saying he should be thoroughly informed about crypto before recommending that people invest.

This restaurant will require an NFT for entry
Gary Vaynerchuk is part of a group bringing what they say is a first-of-its-kind restaurant to New York. According to The Washington Post (subscription), Flyfish Club will be a luxury seafood-inspired dining club, with access restricted to those people who own a Flyfish NFT—which are currently selling for about $22,000 on the secondary market. The founders say it’s less about food and a high-end dining experience, and more about social currency. VCR Group founder and CEO David Rodolitz says NFTs are the modern-day equivalent to traditional status symbols that people use to show their tastes and wealth. The 10,000 square-foot restaurant is purportedly set to open next year and, according to its website, will be built in “one of the most beautiful buildings that exists.” Patrons should be sure to try the blowfish. It’s probably less risky.

Store brands go upmarket
Once the choice for cost-conscious consumers, store brands have gone from drab to desirable, says The Wall Street Journal, with retailers including Whole Foods and Target giving their private label brands a makeover. “In short, store brands are no longer the cheap knockoffs you keep hidden in the back of the cupboard, but quite possibly the tastiest deals on the shelf,” says the Journal. The margins on store brands are not only 10% to 40% higher, but can also help secure the loyalty of notoriously fickle customers in a world where the number of grocery retailers is “dizzying.” Secondly, the pandemic also led to shortages of national brands on store shelves, which led people to buy store brand alternatives out of necessity. A 2020 study from McKinsey & Company found that nearly one in five shoppers purchased more private-label products during the pandemic, with 40% of those saying they were likely to continue buying them going forward.

Djokovic sponsor Lacoste wants to ‘review’ recent events
Lacoste would like to have a word with Novak Djokovic. The iconic French clothing brand is a sponsor of the tennis star, who was kicked out of Australia following a legal battle to stay in the country and play in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated against Covid. “As soon as possible, we will be in touch with Novak Djokovic to review the events that have accompanied his presence in Australia,” Lacoste said in a statement, according to CNN. Djokovic, whose high-profile battle has made him as famous for being opposed to vaccinations as his tennis game in recent days, reportedly makes about $30 million from sponsorships each year. Aside from Lacoste, he’s also sponsored by automaker Peugeot and watch brand Hublot, which said late last week it would “continue its partnership with the world number 1 tennis player,” according to AP.

David Brown