Highsnobiety

BAPE has undeniably beat Supreme, Stüssy, and Palace in at least one lane. It's the first out of the world's biggest, most established legacy streetwear brands to release its Fall/Winter 2024 lookbook.

It's crazy to see that BAPE is still very much a part of the streetwear ecosystem despite NIGO's exit from the brand in 2013. A decade later, BAPE is still a hypebeast staple that's somehow finessed its way out of a long overdue lawsuit with Nike.

Seriously, BAPE's lawyer needs a raise because how is it still releasing BAPE STA sneakers after settling a case centered on how similar it looks to Nike's Air Force 1?

BAPE STAs aside, it would be remiss to just look at BAPE today as a brand only known for Ape Head T-shirts and those Soulja Boy steppers. Instead, what we're seeing from BAPE now is a re-invention of sorts. There've been bright spots along the way — BAPE x Highsnobiety, for instance — but as of late, BAPE is really starting to hit the retro sweet spot of old.

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And I can't lie, seeing this BAPE lookbook for Fall/Winter 2024 has YM BAPE's voice from 2013 echoing in my head. "The Ape is here! Banging on my chest."

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Ever since BAPE hit its 30th anniversary in 2023, the brand has begun presenting full seasonal collections with stylized looks supported by live runway presentations in Shanghai, New York City, and Tokyo.

It's a step most streetwear brands its age wouldn't dare take without a haute collaborator.

So instead of waiting for Kim Jones to come knocking, BAPE has quit monkeying around to build something distinct on its own.

While it's still producing logo-heavy streetwear, one can't ignore that BAPE is clearly trying to produce elevated garments that tastefully plays with is most iconic trademarks in ways we haven't seen before.

BAPE's Fall/Winter 2024 line is split into two themes: "Subculture Aesthetic" and "Campus Life." While that sounds like a novel attempt to simply say the collection riffs of "streetwear" and "prep" the looks don't feel like a cliché interpretation of those two themes.

There's an edge to BAPE's newest looks.

And it really comes off through its more daring products, such as a black bulbous leather bag built from of an amalgamation of Baby Milos or a Cowichan knit varsity jacket.

Yet there's also BAPE's tasteful takes on trendy streetwear garments of the moment, such as double knee pants or quilted puffers that rework the brand's iconic 1ST CAMO pattern.

Frankly, I felt like BAPE was already dead, buried much deeper than Supreme, ever since it fell under new ownership without NIGO. Yet, if Stüssy's relevance in the market today has taught me anything it's that these old streetwear brands can become cool again even without its visionary founders.

The BAPE just stepped out the tub and is looking fresher than ever before.

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