To celebrate the launch of Highsnobiety Japan, we are showcasing how Japanese culture intersects with our publication’s points of interest. In an in-depth look at one of Japan’s original streetwear brands and its evolution into a globally recognized brand, Learn all about Bape
BAPE is one of the most exciting streetwear brands in 2018. You can find A Bathing Ape’s label in Chapter One of your history research. Nevertheless, the last few years have been interesting for street wear since it has become mainstream.
The youth have turned their attention (and their wallets) to fashion and clothes as one of the means of expressing themselves in an age where music is virtually free. Every developed city has children wearing box logos. The 6-year-old cousin of your law firm partner’s uncle wants Yeezys. Palace Skateboards is “better for burning.
The Origins Of BAPE’s Iconic Logo
BAPE’s roots can be traced back to Japan’s Ura-Harajuku scene of the early 1990s, as can most Japanese streetwear icons. Today’s heavyweights, such as Shin Takazawa of Neighborhood, Tetsu Nishiyama of WTaps, Hiroshi Fujiwara of Sk8thing, and so on, were friends in the same scene, doing their own thing and supporting each other along the way.
After working as an editor and stylist at Popeye magazine for several years, Nigo opened his store ‘Nowhere’ with Jun Takahashi of Undercover. Shortly after, he developed his clothing brand, A Bathing Ape, or BAPE.
A fan of popular culture, he incorporated references to films like Planet of the Apes into the name and logo as well as the Japanese phrase, ‘A bathing ape in lukewarm water.’ This describes someone who overindulges like staying in a bath so long that the water is no longer hot, so it was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek nod to the same ostentatious lifestyle.
A Guide To Bape’s Classic T-Shirts
BAPE is unknown and was the first Japanese streetwear brand to gain mainstream recognition in the United States. During the late 1990s, The Notorious BIG wore BAPE camo parkas, and by the early 2000s, Pharrell, Kanye West, and Soulja Boy were all promoting the brand. The brand has experienced mainstream success and then a low-value selloff a few years later. The brand has remained strong, consistently selling out its drops and reselling everywhere, including StockX. BAPE T-shirts, particularly those that feature the brand’s most popular patterns and logos, are among its most popular products. Here is a breakdown of some of the most iconic BAPE t-shirts, from the College Tee to the Ape Head.
T-Shirt Available From Bape College
BAPE’s College logo is probably one of the most popular t-shirt designs in the brand’s current catalog. The design was first introduced to the world in 1996 on a hoodie and can undoubtedly be traced back to classic collegiate styles. On this t-shirt, literally named “College Tee,” block lettering surrounds the logo. It’s familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, yet the variations in colorways and the use of multiple logomarks give each release its own feel. . You can shop a selection of BAPE College T-shirts below, and every single College T-shirt StockX has to offer here.
Bape’s Fascination With Hip-Hop
It is impossible to separate BAPE’s streetwear from its hip-hop heritage. While BAPE was selling out fast in Japan during the early 2000s, American rappers such as The Notorious B.I.G., Clipse, and Pharrell Williams were about to make the brand big stateside. Finally, Nigo’s partnership with Pharrell and the Billionaire Boys Club led to BAPE’s success.
The brand has become a rite of passage for rap’s biggest stars, mentioned in many songs and worn by many. Lil Wayne and Pusha-T fought over it, Cardi B wore it, and Kanye West designed it. College Dropout BAPE STAs were West’s first foray into sneakers, and they are still one of the brand’s most sought-after items today.