From its early days as a small streetwear brand customizing vintage garments with patches and left-over fabric, A Bathing Ape® is now one of the largest streetwear labels in the world with a reach that transcends the vast landscape of popular culture. Between furniture manufacturers, soft drink companies, television shows, musicians, graffiti artists, and video games, BAPE®’s archive of partnerships is all-encompassing.
In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, BAPE® collaborated with a number of high-profile brands across multiple industries last year. Having announced and released its highly-anticipated collaborations with UGG, Barbie, and Google, BAPE® most recently collaborated with another cultural icon: Swiss watchmaker, Swatch.
To celebrate the partnership, let’s take a look back at some BAPE® collaborations from the last year and a half.
adidas Super Bowl
Earlier this year BAPE once again teamed with adidas, this time celebrating 2019's Super Bowl LIII matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots. The highlight was, unsurprisingly, two Ultraboost colorways featuring signature BAPE camo. But the collection had plenty more to offer including Z.N.E. Shark hoodies, compression tights, and football jerseys featuring the number 93, BAPE's birth year. In true Super Bowl spirit, the collection also included football equipment such as the Adizero 8.0 cleat, an arm sleeve, gloves, a football, and even an official Riddell helmet.
BAPE® HEADS SHOW
As a massive celebration for its 25th anniversary, BAPE® tapped longtime “BAPE® heads” Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Pusha T, and Lil Yachty. The first BAPE® HEADS SHOW took place in 1997 as a way of showing respect to the artists and fans of the brand. Since its inception, artists like Kanye West and N.E.R.D. have made appearances at the performance. This particular show was held at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and featured a small assortment of highly-covetable concert merch.
BAPE XXV was the culmination of BAPE’s 25th-anniversary celebrations and consisted of everything from its Dr. Martens collaboration to its Moleskine partnership. Check out the image above to see the true extent of this project.
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, BAPE® collaborated with a number of high-profile brands ranging from UGG to G-shock. A pop culture icon in her own right, there isn’t a plastic glass ceiling she hasn’t broken. Combining BAPE®’s classic Camo patterns with Barbie’s signature pink color, the collection includes apparel for women and children, and of course, a small offering of Barbie dolls with interchangeable garments and accessories courtesy of BAPE®.
Beats by Dre
Beats by Dre has employed many notable fashion brands to reimagine its iconic headphones but few as hype-worthy as its collaboration with BAPE. Beats first hooked up with BAPE in 2013 on a limited edition 20th anniversary release of the solo HD headphones. BAPE and Beats were at it again in 2018, this time celebrating BAPE’s 25th year.
Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet
To celebrate the release of 2018’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, BAPE and Disney dropped a 32 piece collection for both children and adults. The collection’s hero piece was an original camo full-zip hoodie complete with motifs in typical BAPE-style of the film’s characters Ralph and Vanellope. The collection also featured pullover hoodies, graphic t-shirts, a tote bag bag, and cushion.
Dragon Ball Z
Given the popularity of manga and anime in Japan, it was only a matter of time before BAPE® teamed up with Goku and his friends for a Dragon Ball Z-inspired capsule collection. To celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary, hoodies, crewnecks, tees, tote bags, and even coffee mugs were adorned with BAPE®’s Baby Milo character and fan favorites from the original Dragon Ball series including Goku, Master Roshi, Krillin. Building on the success of their first capsule, the two got together once again to pay homage to Dragon Ball Z with garments featuring characters such as Vegeta, Piccolo, and Frieza.
BAPE also showed in 2018 that it’s not all about sneakers, partnering with the iconic English footwear brand Dr. Martens on a range of golden steel toe boots and shoes. For this one, BAPE’s cloud camo was subtly embossed across the premium leather while gold eyelets and ape head lace deubrés matched the toe.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, BAPE® debuted a jaw-dropping Formula One race car branded with sporting the label’s ubiquitous Camo pattern, Ape Head insignia, and Shark Face motif. Several months later, the Japanese stalwart announced its F1 capsule collection for the Shanghai Grand Prix race which included racing jackets, truckers caps, a towel, and a whole slew of apparel featuring BAPE® and Formula One co-branding to mimic typical pit lane gear.
The Marvel x BAPE® Universe is almost as expansive as Marvel’s cinematic universe. In 2005, BAPE® and Marvel Comics released a small offering of T-shirts and Bapestas™ featuring Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer, the X Men, and many others. Shortly after their inaugural projection, the two teamed up for a Spiderman collection and another featuring the Avengers several months later.
In 2016, Medicom Toy—best known for its BE@RBRICK figure—teamed up with BAPE® to create 100%, 400%, and 1000% BE@RBRICK figurines boasting the 1st Camo shark pattern. BAPE® and Medicom Toy collaborated again in 2017 on an apparel collection inspired by the BE@RBRICK silhouette. In 2018, BAPE® and Medicom Toy released another BE@RBIRCK, this time with READYMADE featuring the brand’s familiar army green and a recreation of the iconic Shark Hoodie in military fabrics with a functioning zipper, ribbed hems, and 3D patches.
Mitchell & Ness
Just ahead of basketball season, BAPE® and sportswear legends Mitchell & Ness joined forces for an NBA capsule collection (featuring Snoop Dogg for the campaign’s hero images.). Featuring jerseys for eight championship teams including the Lakers, Warriors, Celtics, Bulls, Cavs, Knicks, Blazers, and Rockets, the collection reimagined the Swingman jersey, shorts, tees, and varsity jackets in subtle Ape Head Camo. The collection also included a co-branded Spalding basketball also wrapped in a Camo pattern.
A year after opening its storefront in the Le Marais district of Paris, BAPE® teamed up with football club Paris Saint-Germain on a lifestyle collection for PSG’s diehard fans. With 13 limited edition pieces (and three pieces exclusively available for supporters of the capital), the collection included full-zip hoodies, T-shirts, sweats, gym bags, neck warmers, and a highly sought-after long down jacket.
Last year BAPE also worked with with the iconic Austrian crystal producer Swarovski to deck out a number of pieces with the brand’s legendary crystals. The highly limited releases included a full zip shark hoodie and polo shirt.
Following a year of major collaborations in 2018 celebrating its 25th anniversary, BAPE had to come out the gate hot in 2019. In May, it announced a partnership with the iconic Swiss watch brand Swatch spanning six watches and representing different locations around the world. The collection finally dropped mid-June with a bold campaign that set the tone for the rest of the year.
BAPE®’s cartoonish, playful aesthetic underwent a gritty makeover when L.A.-based streetwear maven Undefeated reimagined the label’s iconic prints and graphics in 2012. The capsule collection notably featured a varsity jacket with some serious embroidery. The duo teamed up again for a collection inspired by Undefeated’s athletic apparel. As of 2016, the BAPE® and Undefeated partnership has become an annual release with products ranging from military-inspired jackets to dual-branded skate decks. Last year, BAPE®, Undefeated, and Timberland took part in a three-way collaboration, creating an apparel line and reworking Timberland's iconic 6-Inch Boot.
Mid-2018, BAPE worked with sports equipment manufacturer Wilson for a Wilson Tennis collaboration. Together they produced tennis racquets and tennis balls, co-branded and featuring BAPE’s signature camouflage print.