In a personal note today, NIGO, the founder of Japanese streetwear brand A Bathing Ape aka BAPE, announces his departure from the brand. In February 2011 news came out that NIGO had sold 90% of the Bape brand to Hong Kong's I.T. After almost 20 successful years in the business, NIGO said at the time that the business side of BAPE had not been taken care of properly and therefore resulted in some financial difficulties and eventually in the sale.
After the sale NIGO still had a contract with Bape for design, marketing, and creative direction and that contract is now concluded. After building the brand for 20 years (1993-2013), the founder is now out and it definitely marks the end of an era. NIGO goes on saying that he will be working as a freelance creator in many different fields going forward.