Now, this was basically by design: early this year, BAPE announced that the BAPE STA was coming back in a big way, from refreshed colorways to new models.
It speaks to how far the OG Air Force 1 bootleg has come over the past few decades.
The BAPE STA's impact basically speaks for itself — being inexorably tied to NIGO will do that — and everyone wants a piece to this day.
Need examples? In the past year alone, the BAPE STA was reworked by Hajime Sorayama, COMME des GARÇONS, Gunna, The Weeknd's XO label, Coach, Stadium Goods (its first sneaker collab), and a little company called Highsnobiety.
There were even BAPE STA-inspired Reeboks, a sort of bootleg-ception that belies simple definition.
Point is, the BAPE STA has long stood apart from its Nike inspiration thanks to an ample dose of cred provided by its legacy.
But 2021 was the year in which the BAPE STA reasserted streetwear dominance; not just as a streetwear classic but as one of the most essential shoes offered by a brand that isn't headquartered in Portland or Herzogenaurach.
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