Highsnobiety

BAPE

FOUNDED

1993 in Ura-Harajuku, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

FOUNDER

WHERE IS BAPE BASED?

Tokyo, Japan, though parent company I.T Ltd. is based in Hong Kong

WHO OWNS BAPE?

Back in 2011, Hong Kong company I.T Ltd. acquired a 90% stake in A Bathing Ape after the Japanese company had seen significant losses the previous years. It then wholesale purchased BAPE from NIGO.

IS BAPE OWNED BY ADIDAS?

No. BAPE is currently owned by I.T Ltd.

WHO WORE BAPE FIRST?

A hot topic among those in the hip hop community, BAPE started to garner even more popularity after seen on the likes of Notorious B.I.G, Soulja Boy, The Clipse, Pharrell, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne

WHAT DOES BAPE MEAN?

BAPE stands for A Bathing Ape — first and foremost a term that pays homage to NIGO’s favorite film, Planet of the Apes. It is also a reference to the Japanese idiom ‘a bathing ape in lukewarm water’, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the overindulgence of the streetwear obsessed youths

1993

A Bathing Ape is officially founded by NIGO.

1998

By 1998, BAPE was sold in 40 stores across Japan. To increase interest in the label, NIGO would only supply 10% of overall demand.

1998-2001

BAPE continues to explode in popularity across Japan and slowly begins to make its way West, eventually appearing on the likes of rapper Notorious B.I.G.

Around this time BAPE collaborates with Pepsi and NIGO links up with Pharrell Williams for the first time.

2005-2006

BAPE officially enters the US market, opening stores in New York and LA.

2007

Kanye West designs his own BAPESTA sneaker.

2009-2011

BAPE accrues financial issues leading to NIGO stepping down from the company.

A Bathing Ape is then sold to I.T Ltd, a Hong Kong fashion conglomerate.

2022

HUGO shook up the British tailoring-inspired BAPE sub-label, Mr. Bathing Ape, with a collaboration that included apparel and BAPESTAs alike.

BAPE launches a highly coveted Hot Wheels collab.

BAPE launches an inexplicable collaborative project with Vogue Japan.

BAPE announces its debut NFT collection. It’s decried by fans but sells nonetheless.

Latest Stories

  • BAPE Is... Looking Seriously Fresh Again

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  • A Love Letter To '90s Fashion

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  • Lighter, Longer, Lazier Days Call for Comfier, Cooler, Casual Clothes

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  • Wide Leg Jeans Are Here to Stay & These Pieces Say So

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  • BAPE & adidas' Jumbo Skate Sneaker Is a Big Throwback

    • Sneakers
  • BAPE Has BAPE-ified Another adidas Classic

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  • Masters of Monochrome: 12 Black and White Sneakers to Shop Now

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  • Is There Still a Market for NFT Streetwear Merch?

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  • Winter Essentials from StockX

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    • sponsored
  • StockX Picks That are Below Retail and Above Board

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    • sponsored
  • At Last, BAPE Made adidas Sneakers I'd Actually Wear

    • Sneakers
  • 25 Streetwear Brands Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know & Where To Buy Them

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Bape Highlights

  • The Best BAPE Sneakers Released in the Last Few Years

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About BAPE (and Some Things You Didn't)

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  • 20 Music Videos That Helped Make BAPE Hip-Hop’s Hottest Brand

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  • A Bathing Ape’s BAPE STA Will Always Be a Streetwear Icon, Here's Why

  • BE@RBRICK Says Happy Birthday To BAPE

    • Style
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