So I have been pushing around a few thoughts recently to the move’s Nigo has been making with his business and within the industry. Recently A Bathing Ape’s New York store started taking orders by phone, Thus allowing Neo Hiphop heads across America to dress like Lil’ Wayne. This makes me wonder, could it be that he is now not pushing product like he was a couple years ago? It is true that his brands A Bathing Ape and Bape have both taken turns moving away from his well known bright colors, metallic patent leathers and well known camos. Which could possibly be taking away from the draw that many people had to the brand in the first place. I have noticed that he is still expanding with the opening of the store in L.A. and the partnership with Collette. This can also show that the pop shop with Collette in Paris is the first step to the brand going mainstream, It is defiantly the first time he has marketed his products to stores outside his own. This is usually the beginning of the end for most labels (LRG, Artful Dodger… Etc..)
In Tokyo I see the brand as it is, a major contending label, the second largest independent clothing label in Japan. Yet I also see the unnecessary queues outside of his stores that builds an elaborate facade of anticipation from his buyers. There is no doubt that Nigo is a great designer and a master and legend of the streetware business. I believe that Bape is still going strong but I also know, by his recent releases, he has firmly decided with his age and experience to take the company in a new direction. This year we will see the relaunch of Bape Sta Pro-Wrestling, and tee’s to commemorate the ocassion. I am looking forward to see the path he begins the new year with his companies.