A Bathing Ape on Wikipedia!

8 10 2006
Type Private
Founded 1993
Headquarters Tokyo
Key people Nigo
Industry Clothing
Website http://www.bape.com

A Bathing Ape, or Bape, is a Japanese clothing company specializing in urban streetwear.

History

The company was started in 1993 by Nigo as a T-shirt brand, originating in the Harajuku area of Shibuya in Tokyo, becoming one of the first Japanese streetwear brands. Bape’s logo and themes are derived from the original Planet of the Apes movies, while the brand’s name is based on a common Japanese saying, “bathing in lukewarm water”, describing the willingness of Japan’s youth to follow popular trends.

Recently Bape has reached mainstream culture in the United States on account of popular entertainers wearing the brand, such as Pharrell Williams of hip hop production duo the Neptunes, the President of Def Jam Recordings, Jay-Z

, R&B singer J. Hall, Kenny Tran From Seattle, Washington, Fall Out Boy and rap-artists Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and The Clipse. Nigo has featured American artists, such as the lead singer of Good Charlotte and Pharrell Williams, in Bathing Ape advertisements and catalogue features. Due to the success of the creative live, Pharrell has collaborated on a clothing (Billionaire Boys Club) and sneaker (Ice Cream) line with its designer. The Ice Cream line of shoes is produced by rbk(Reebok) with input from Bathing Ape’s Nigo. Bape’s popularity in the United States was cemented when he opened the first American Bape store in New York City in 2004.

Fame

Bape is known for its shrewd marketing, particularly the use of limited production runs to prompt demand for its product. In addition, Bape stores are usually difficult to find and are not typically marked with signs in an effort to maintain exclusivity (rare). Many stores have a one product per person policy to prevent items from appearing on the black market. Bape has become so popular in Japan that it was commissioned to design a limited edition Pepsi bottle. Over the years, Bape has extended its brand from T-shirts (Baby Milo & Bathing Ape) to other apparel such as sneakers (Bape Sta trainers are also sold in the ultra trendy Foot Soldier shops), jeans and underwear. A Bathing Ape has even extended beyond clothing to a hair salon (Bape Cuts), gallery (Bape Gallery), cafe (Bape Cafe), record label (Ape Sounds) and (B)apeTV. A Bathing Ape also produces limited-edition hip hop-themed vinyl figures. Not to mention, as of June 30th, 2006, Bape plans to launch a skate team, including newcomer Tyrone Brown.

Counterfeit

Due to the scarcity of Bape items, in conjunction with its high prices and high demand, there are a number of counterfeit items or “Fapes” — a contraction of “Fake Bathing Ape” and a play on Bape. With the sheer number of Fape items produced, the quality is becoming better and it has become increasingly difficult to spot them. As well, with the opening of a Busy Work Shop in Los Angeles at the end of 2006, Bape’s exposure and Fape counterfeit products could be at an all time high.

In order to create more brand exclusivity, Bape requires visitors to its Bape.com website download a stand-alone executable file. When run, this program launches a full-sized window that showcases all the Bape brands. (Of course, users should be suspicious of any web site that requires installing a program they aren’t familiar with, as this is how malware such as viruses and trojans are often distributed.)

References

Bathing Ape Videos

 

 

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