The BAPE You Must Know
Japanese streetwear brand BAPE (A Bathing Ape) has deep roots in hip-hop and street culture. In September we shot the collection on Dublin’s streets, here’s some background on the cult brand…
Those Original Japanese Roots
The roots of BAPE can be traced back to the Harajuku scene in Toyko of the early 1990s, which was one of the most iconic scenes of Japanese streetwear.
After opening his own store called ‘Nowhere’ in the area, Nigo (the original founder of BAPE) then worked with Sk8thing to launch his own clothing brand called A Bathing Ape or BAPE.
Logo Of Bape
The original founder Nigo was a fan of 20th century pop culture, and channelled his love for the 1968 film Planet of the Apes into the name and logo that we all know and love today. Nigo also referenced the Japanese idiom ‘a bathing ape in lukewarm water;’ this is an expression used to describe overindulgent behavior, and the phrase made an almost tongue-in-cheek reference to this same demographic that would eventually become the cornerstone of BAPE.
“Nigo incorporated his love for the 1968 film Planet of the Apes into the name and iconic BAPE logo, as well as referring to the Japanese idiom ‘a bathing ape in lukewarm water.’
Camouflage’s Iconic Design
BAPE’s iconic camouflage print is perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the brand, because it has completely transcended streetwear and has become one of the most iconic motifs of the past two decades, meaning it has become one of the most recognizable motifs in contemporary culture. In terms of the graphic itself, it combines a variety of elements; firstly, given its obvious reference to military camouflage, it fits perfectly with the Japanese’s fascination with military clothing (and with fashion in general), and secondly, it represents an abstraction of an ape’s face. Camouflage is traditionally designed to conceal and hide, however, BAPE has managed to flip the script with its camouflage, a traditional print that is so appealing that you can’t ignore this print.
Sharks’ Most Hyped
The BAPE Shark Hoodie Is One Of The Most Iconic Garments In Bathing Ape History. A Once Coveted Rarity The Shark Hoodies Have Become A Mainstay Piece Every Season But Getting Your Hands On The Latest Drop Still Is An Achievement.
There is a distinctive shark design on the hood that is taken from military artwork found on the noses of fighter planes and battleships.
Influxes Of Hip Hop
Late 1990s to early 2000s are generally regarded as the golden era of BAPE, with product rapidly selling out in Japan and fashion-savvy figures like The Notorious B.I.G. supporting the brand. Jacob the Jeweller introduced Nigo to Pharrell Williams in the early 2000s, noting their similar tastes in jewellery.
Pharrell’s laidback personality and youthful free spirit complemented BAPE’s bright and flashy aesthetic, and his success led to more attention for BAPE stateside.
Collaboration Between Wiz Khalifa And
Wiz Khalifa is the latest rapper to be featured in BAPE’s latest capsule collection inspired by its BAPE HEADS line. APE Head insignia is featured on the tees and hoodies, as well as Khalifa himself. Read More