WWD reports, Nigo founder of A Bathing Ape is to step down from his role as president and director for the Japanese streetwear brand, founded in 1993. Nigo will remain a majority owner of Nowhere Co., Ltd. which is A Bathing Ape’s parent company. Following a strong showing with his 15th Anniversary last year, this step down comes as a major surprise. He will although continue his role as designer for A Bathing Ape as well as his partnership with singer/producer Pharrell Williams alongside BBC/Ice Cream, where he is head designer and co-owner.
BAPE clothing grows up? A Bathing Ape, the Japanese brand known internationally for its flambouyant camo and child-like characterisations, has released a new line called “Black Label” which is reputedly a collection of black and other one-shade clothing. Whether this is a transition to a more mature and discerning customer-base is yet to be seen, but as we all know Nigo is a marketing genius so the move is bound to have substance!
Creating Limitless Heights, BAPE or not to BAPE, that is the question?
So the question remains, is CLH a BAPE rip-off or just some kind of BBC, Artful Dodger, LRG hybrid that morphs into a commercial frankenstein? This is the official blurb:
“CLH introduces the infinite possibilities of creating and styling the masses; we stand as the new leaders in street outfitters in the purest form. We strive to create innovative designs that reflect the unique “expressions” that are loudly spoken from the most intricate parts of the “streets”. The lifestyles of Hip Hop culture are thoroughly embedded in the streets, which gave life to CLH. This culture is now rooted across the continents. We dedicate ourselves to deliver an individual’s expression by creating visuals that speak for them on a universal language that can be shared in an ever-expanding culture.
As the streets continue to evolve and create aspirations of Hip Hop clothing, CLH will continue in being innovative with new concepts in garment making techniques. Our goal here is to represent each and all of you who breathe Hip Hop in the most honorable manner. You are the streets therefore you are the essence of the culture and we are just one-way to represent that essence.”
Perhaps the intention is sincere but the tone is patronising and almost smells like an attempt to deflect from the predictable question: is CLH a BAPE rip-off or just some kind of BBC, Artful Dodger, LRG hybrid that morphs into a commercial frankenstein?
Has the Bape Hoody lost its teeth. The bape shark hoody is perhaps the best known bape standard and now this piece of fashion history is being superseded by a garment with a softer side, welcome to the Bape Fish Parka and the also the Aloha Resort Camo Parka; it looks like the “parka” bent is designed to give the new style something of a “MOD” come European edge as opposed to the dated Bape Hoody name. The large fish eyes are in distinct contrast to the old shark teeth and are no doubt designed to reflect Nigo’s softer side. The Aloha Resort Camo Parka is a lot busier and has a more traditional Bape feel.
In an attempt to garnish some unfamiliar street credibility, Fendi hosted a hip-hop party in Tokyo, with Bape’s Fashion Guru Nigo as host, while Karl Lagerfeld stayed in the background. Interestingly, both Nigo and Lagerfeld are not that polarised when it comes to fashion; deep down they’re both serious “bling” merchants — so they’ll probably make perfect bed-fellows…
Fendi is an Italian fashion designer brand founded in 1918, most famous for its selection of shoes. Fendi boutiques can be found all over the world. In recent years, Fendi entered the American market with stores in New York, Bal Harbour, and the Galleria in Houston. Today, as part of LVMH MoÃ«t Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. group, its creative director is Karl Lagerfeld.
So Bapesta Sneakers finally takes the plunge and ventures from the cozie world of the AF1s and embraces a new concept predictably called, Roadsta. Roadsta sneakers have a more athletic feel to the design and will be available to Bapeheads in early 2007. Whether the gel heel is for practical purposes or show is yet to be determined.
Bape boys throughout Japan, if not the world,Â where ejaculating with excitement as A Bathing Ape released the OG shark Hoodie to the masses. The queue at Bapexlusive in Aoyoma, Tokyo apparent reached as far as the eye could see. Bape is truly a modern-day fashion phenomenon!
Has A Bathing Ape finally lost all credibility in the Fashion Arena? Bape madness now extends to fluffy toys which is perhaps more indicative of a Babies “R” Us Collaboration than the hallmark of a serious urban fashion brand. The nutty Bape train pulled into “sell-out” central years ago but this development has to be the most overt commercial “sell-out” so far — The A Bathing Ape cash-cow ain’t going to lay down and rollover without a fight!
It’s official at last, A Bathing Ape is not misogynistic!! For sometime now the fashion community have been trying to establish why Nigo and his Bathing Ape brand have generally neglected the fairer sex. As we know, Bape menswear is a true fashion phenomenon but comparatively speaking Bape womenswear, or Apee,Â was seen as non-existent and some commentators even suggested the limited range was belittling and chauvinistic! No longer –Â Apee, the ladieswear collection is now flying high and proud across the globe! At last…
The amount of bent Bape online is perhaps epitmosed by the extraordinary number of hooky Bape T-Shirts available at a click of a button. Fape Tees have simply swamped the net with an increasing number of bent merchants “online barrow-boys” trying their arm at selling Fape. What’s even more incredible is these bent merchants really believe they are going to kid a genuine Bape punter with their hooky gear. Come on Fape marchants just be honest! Advertise your Fape clearly and then most punters won’t give a flying fape what you do!
The Kaws x Bape and Kaws x Bapesta collaborations have tapped into a neglected sub-culture with phenomenal success. Dedicated Bape aficionados and punters in general have been snapping up the Kaws x Bape Hoodies, Tees, Jackets, Sweats and Accessories, not to mention the Kaws Bapesta Sneakers, as fast as they can be produced!
Kaws, real name, Brian Donnelly a graffiti grand-master from Jersey City, is widely considered a modern-day Picasso. His style is complex in its simplistic and his dedication uncompromising. Kaws has provided BAPE with the kudos to transcend commercial fashion and legitimately enter the realm of urban high-culture. A very smart move by the Bape Man!
BAPE has spawned a great deal of debate and heated rhetoric over the past few years. The limited availability and excessive prices have caused enthusiasm and indignation in equal measure. Despite that, there’s one division within the BAPE empire which seems to confused the fashion industry unanimously: Baby Milo! The question often arises, what possesses a grown man to pull on a t-shirt with a depiction of a baby ape plastered on the front? What drives grown men to discard their usually irrevocable masculinity to embrace such an extremely puerile character?
The answer appears to be “APE”! Humans have an innate tendency to blindly “ape” others who they respect and admire. Some might argue that this is the very foundation upon which the whole of the fashion industry is established and BAPE is simply taking this process to the extreme. Who knows, perhaps Nigo is in the midst of a grand human experiment which will help expose so many of the fallacies rooted within fashion. Perhaps the fashion world needs BAPE to expose the fashion “APE” in us all and lead us back to the land of true fashion; the land of vision and individuality!
One ofÂ the most counterfeited contemporary brands is surelyÂ BAPE. BAPE, short for A Bathing Ape and brainchild of Fashion-Guru, DJ Nigo, is sold through exclusive retail outlets at exorbitant prices — at least the authentic BAPE, or Bapesta, Sneakers are. These days, however, it seems you can buy a truck load of snide BAPE sneakers online for the price of ONE authentic pair.
Many argue that our man, Nigo, has only himself to blame for this phenomenon. The rationale goes that Nigo knew exactly what he was doing when he marketed his product in such a way that demand way exceed supply in an attempt to create an acutely desired and therefore exclusive product. This, the argument goes, is igniting the counterfeit bomb which will eventually kill the brand! Perhaps there’s a lesson here for all brands; cyberspace doesn’t tolerate traditional marketing BS – it’s time to think outside the box!
A Bathing Ape (BAPE) is it just Hype or is it truly a cultural phenomenon? Is the founder of A Bathing Ape, Nigo, an artistic genious or a shrewd businessman with a propensity for marketing and tapping into the vast expendable income of the world’s youth? Perhaps a question still in the balance! Regardless, no one can deny the impact of Nigo and the Bape Brand in the 21st century.
Nigo, a 33 year old man born in Japan, has a youthful, almost child-like air. This youthful characteristic is clearly reflected in his A Bathing Ape brand. Some argue it is this very edge that makes him stand out!! The whole brand is anti-establishment, in-your-face, uncompromising BLING! Nigo himself is adorned in extreme Hip-hop paraphernalia: his teeth covered in diamonds, massive neckchains, a garish watch and of course is signature apparel.
Apart from Bape apparel, there are the Bapesta, or Bape Sta, sneakers that have a wide cult following. There’s also the Ice Cream Sneakers connection and endless gadget and marketing spin-offs. Many believe Nigo’s genious likes not so much in his design but in his method, which is far from mad, and is based on limited supply – if you can’t have it you want it even more. Bape clothes are just so difficult to obtain. The official Bape stores carry a limited amount of stock sold on a first come first serve basis. On the plus side the stock is constantly rotated so if you don’t find what you want straight away maybe you’ll be lucky in the future.
A new brand showing signs of the “Bape” effect is Jhung Yuro. Many fashionistas will tell you Jhung Yuro shoes are far superior to Bape Sta and Ice Cream. It seems Nigo has spawn a whole new breed of Japanese entrepreneur. Whether you hate him or rate him, one thing’s for sure Nigo is a genuine 21st century phenomenon!