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Bape / Bathing Ape

Bathing Ape

A Bathing Ape (often called simply Bape) is a Japanese clothing company that specializes in urban streetwear. It originated out of the Harajuku area of Shibuya in Tokyo and is one of the very first Japanese streetwear brands to start in the early 1990s. Bape’s logo and themes are all derived from the original Planet of the Apes movies. Bape is known for its shrewd marketing, particularly the use of very limited production runs in order to stoke demand for its product. A Bathing Ape also produces limited-edition hip-hop-themed vinyl figures.


Bathing Ape

Bape is so popular in Japan that Nigo, its creator, was commissioned to design a limited edition Pepsi bottle. Due to the popularity increases quickly in all over the world, Nigo has designed shoes (Bape Sta, Manhunt), tee-shirts (Baby Milo & Bathing Ape), Jeans, Boxers, and even Candies.

Despite Bape’s relative obscurity in the West, its success has afforded 32-year-old Nigo a Lamborghini, an Aston Martin, a Bentley Continental Mulliner Edition, a Ferrari 360 Modena and a home valued at $30 million. The clothes are also worn by Pharrell Williams of hip hop production duo the Neptunes.

Nigo likes to set up his stores in hard to find places, and none of them are marked with signs or store logos of any kind. He even admits that he doesn’t want a lot of people to wear his clothing. Exclusive retailers of Bape (called Busy Work Shops) are rumored to have a one-person, one-item policy where a customer can walk out with only one item of his/her size.

Bathing Ape

The Bathing Ape Bapesta Ape Force is essentially a high-price knockoff of the Nike Air Force 1, except priced even higher in most cases. There is a lot of speculation to whether Bape is just a fad or destined to be a long-standing popular brand. Only time will tell. There are now Bape versions of Adidas, Jacob & Co. watches, and Busy Work Shops worldwide, so the trend seems to be stable at least for the time being.

Bathing Ape

Bathing Ape