Bathing in lukewarm water
In 1993, Nigo founded A Bathing Ape also known as BAPE. A Bathing Ape is a Japanese clothing company. The company produces men’s, women’s, kids, and streets wear clothing. BAPE currently have 10 running stores in Japan. You can find the clothing line at Bape Pirate Stores, Bape Kids Stores and many others. However, for those who do not live in Japan they also have stores in Hong Kong, New York, London, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, Singapore and Seoul. The clothing line also has a hair salon and a café. Nigo also has a women clothing line known as APEE, BAPY, and couture.
The founder, Nigo, claims that his mother and father are his major influences when it comes to his character development. His mother was a nurse, while his father was a billboard maker; because they both worked long and hard hours, Nigo spent a lot of time alone playing with his toys.
Nigo studied fashion editing in college. He also worked as an editor and a stylist for the popular Popeye magazine. He borrowed four million yen from one of his acquaintances, who use to let him work in his shop. With the money in his Nigo’s hand he opened “Nowhere” in April 1993, in Tokyo.
When deciding to start his own brand the 1968 film Planet of the Apes was his inspiration. Nigo stated that the name “BAPE” is a reference to “A Bathing Ape in Lukewarm Water.” To get the brand name out there he gave tees to Cornelius who wore then at his performances. For two years, Nigo created about 30 to 50 shirts a week, which he sold half of them and gave away half of them to his friends. Nigo is also a partner and the head designer of Pharrell Williams’ clothes line, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream.
In early 2011, Nigo announced that A Bathing Ape was sold. It was sold to Hong Kong fashion conglomerate I.T. I.T purchased a total of 668 shares equaling to about $2,800,000 USD. There are no definite plans for the company’s future, but Nigo is expected to say on board as the Creative Director for at least another two years or so.
As one may see Bape is not for anyone. BAPE is an expensive clothing line. You can see that by the people who wear it. You mainly see celebrities from around the globe representing the BAPE clothing line. However, the style of the clothes is a bit eccentric; most of the clothing has the symbol of the ape. The ape represents the ape in the 1960s move Planet of the Apes.
There are other shirts that have the Star Crew and Bape Kaws Star man symbol. The neat thing about Bape’s logos and themes of all their clothes is the common Japanese saying “bathing in lukewarm water.” Bape has only been selling to one company, Busy Work Shops. Furthermore, recently they have been expanded to women’s and kids clothing.
Nigo has been busy the last couple of decades. He has not only made a high end clothing line, but he is also co-founder of another high end clothing line. He is educated and knows what works and does not work in this business. His clothing line will be around for years to come.