Despite the countless number of co-branded sneaker releases each year, there are few ongoing collaborations with the longevity and impact of A Bathing Ape's partnership with adidas. What started as a handful of exclusive shoes aimed at cross-pollinating the two brands' aesthetics is now a 16-year project spanning the German sportswear giant’s massive archive.
From basketball to football to skateboarding to streetwear, since 2003, adidas x BAPE has showcased the versatility of the Three Stripes' product range while elevating it with BAPE’s iconic motifs. Regardless of the silhouette, each release is instantly recognizable and carries with it a certain implied respect among the streetwear and sneaker communities.
Like Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes, here we take a journey through time to bring you the complete history of adidas x BAPE collaborations.
BAPE x adidas Super Ape Star and Super Ape Skate
Released: August 2003 and September 2003
Promoted under the slogan “The Respect is Mutual,” BAPE and adidas' first collab was a modified rendition of the Superstar. The sneaker was available in white and black colorways and featured leather uppers with repeated Ape Head motifs throughout. Two additional models followed, one in luxe suede with gold foil hits and another sporting a canvas upper with BAPE’s iconic camo print.
BAPE and adidas unveiled another silhouette that same year, the mid-cut Super Ape Skate. The collaboration came in four colorways: olive green, black, gray, and black snakeskin, each equipped with three sets of printed camo laces. The first three versions were limited to 500 pairs each, with the heels carrying text that read “1 of” and “500.” The glossy snakeskin version was available only to staff and family and was limited to 100 pairs.
BAPE x adidas Superstar 80s “B-Sides”
Released: August 2011
Eight years later, BAPE and adidas paid homage to their OG collab with an updated colorway. The “B-sides” reimagined the adidas Superstar in off-white suede with co-branding throughout, including the Three Stripes in navy with “TRÈFLE EN CHEVRONS ET BAPE” text, Ape Head insignia, camo lining, and gold foil detailing. Today, it's one of the partnership's most coveted collaborations.
BAPE x UNDFTD x adidas Consortium ZX 5000 and Campus 80s
Released: April 2013
UNDEFEATED joined the BAPE x adidas collaboration in 2013 with the Campus 80s and ZX 5000 runner, both of which were delayed from 2012. The Campus 80s was available in black and olive suede colorways with a camo tongue and sock liner on both models. This time, the tongue’s camo print lacked BAPE’s Ape Head, while the olive pair ditched the Three Stripes in favor of three perforations. The ZX 5000 was adorned with French-style tricolor stripes to contrast against the shoe's giant splash of BAPE camo.
BAPE x UNDFTD x adidas Consortium Superstar 80s
Released: April 2015 and October 2015
BAPE, UNDEFEATED, and adidas came together again in 2015 with a new collection of Superstar 80s. The April batch came in white and black with blue and gray camo accents respectively. Six months later, two louder camo colorways dropped in blue and black, essentially decking out the sneakers with the same BAPE camo patterns used on the tongue and lining of the April kicks.
BAPE x adidas Originals NMD R1
Released: November 2016
If adidas was remembered for anything in 2016, it was the NMD R1. Generating massive hype thanks to the likes of Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, the NMD became a streetwear staple, making it the perfect canvas for BAPE’s next Three Stripes collab.
The BAPE x adidas NMD R1 featured a synthetic nylon upper with a sheen designed to highlight the all-over camo print. The sneaker came in "Green Camo" and “Black Camo” versions and was accompanied by a small apparel collection.
BAPE x NEIGHBORHOOD x adidas Originals Superstar Boost
Released: February 2017
BAPE and Japanese streetwear giant NEIGHBORHOOD's update of the Superstar revamped a timeless classic with modern tech. The collab added details such as a Primeknit and suede upper for a modern layered design. The biggest change, however, was the introduction of a Boost unit in the midsole. The sneaker was finished off with contrasting black leather stripes and dual branding throughout.
BAPE x adidas Dame 4
Released: February 2018
Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard's signature Dame 4 was the first basketball sneaker released under the BAPE x adidas partnership, coming in “Green Camo” and “Black Camo” versions and dropping in time for the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend. Both pairs were adorned with a variety of motifs, including “WGM” collegiate lettering on the neoprene collar, BAPE shark teeth on the midsoles with shark eyes on the toes, and a tiger graphic on the inner ankle.
BAPE x adidas Skateboarding 3ST.002
Released: November 2018
To celebrate the release of its new 3ST.002 silhouette, adidas teamed up with BAPE on a skateboarding model 15 years after the Super Ape Skate. The tonal black Primeknit sneaker was adorned with a white outline version of BAPE’s Ape Head camo, interrupted by iridescent stripes that extended diagonally over the forefoot.
BAPE x NEIGHBORHOOD x adidas Originals NHBAPE POD-S3.1 and NHBAPE NMD STLT
Released: January 2019
NEIGHBORHOOD joined BAPE again for a massive collection of co-branded goods in January 2019. The selection included products such as two-tone camouflage denim jackets, incense chambers, and Be@rbrick figures. Joining the fray was adidas, which let loose the Japanese labels on its POD-S3.1 and NMD R1 STLT silhouettes.
The NHBAPE POD-S3.1 featured BAPE’s shark motif on the lateral side in a dark camo contrasted by a lighter camo on the medial side, with NEIGHBORHOOD's skull-and-crossbones motif hidden subtly in the camo print.
Boasting a more technical construction, the NHBAPE NMD STLT featured a mid-cut silhouette with black tribal heat-welded overlays and a flash of yellow at the midfoot. Other notable details included BAPE and NEIGHBORHOOD co-branding on a tongue shroud that housed a toggle lacing system, accompanied by kanji lettering that reads "Tokyo."
BAPE x adidas Football Ultra Boost and Adizero 5-Star
Released: February 2019
Just ahead of Super Bowl LIII, BAPE and adidas dropped a capsule collection of football-inspired accessories, apparel, and footwear. In addition to jerseys, a football, and a helmet adorned in BAPE camo, the brands added two new Ultra Boost colorways and two Adizero 5-Star cleats, the latter of which was unveiled by Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Both footwear items featured camo knit uppers, with the black camo shoes boasting metallic accents and the green camo getting a touch of gold. Both Ultra Boosts sported a black TPU sole counter and Boost sole, while the Adizero 5-Stars were finished with BAPE-inscribed deubrés.
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