The Bathing Ape (BAPE) is a popular brand of Japanese clothing.
Bathing Ape's, BAPE, logo and theme were derived from the original hit movie "Planet of the Apes". The brand name is also based on a Japanese saying, "bathing in lukewarm water", describing the comfortable lifestyle of today's youth in Japan. Representing much more than a conventional clothing line Bathing Ape offers sweatshirts, polo style shirts, and thongs. The founder and designer, Nigo, approached what is called a horizontal marketing technique. His company incorporates many more aspects of the market than merely clothing, supporting his earliest dreams of becoming a lifestyle company. By offering advice and products enhancing music, hair, and even food has prevented Bathing Ape from fading away like many other Tokyo brands.
Bathing Ape products are known for being difficult to obtain, giving the name an even greater meaning. Uninterested in Japanese expansion, Nigo has focused on expansion in the United States and abroad. Boasting over 25 sales outlets around the world, Nigo has regulated the sales of Bathing Ape products by enacting several uncommon policies such as limiting multiple sales to one buyer, and verifying sizes to ensure small amounts of clothing hit the underground markets. This unique approach to sales has helped make this company what it is today.
In early 1990 Nigo was just beginning his career as a fashion student, Deejay, and magazine stylist. It was at this time that he realized the challenges dealt with when searching for quality trend setting clothing. Nigo loved to create his own style of clothes so he began designing and marketing them out of duffel bags at local parties and deejay shows. Produced in limited quantities, they quickly became popular in the back alleys of Tokyo's fashion-obsessed Harajuku neighborhood.
It wasn't until 1993 that Bathing Ape was launched out of a tiny Harajuku storefront called the busy workshop. In only a few years Japanese youth started going "ape crazy", bearing Nigo's logos and motifs from head to toe while toting his "busy works" bags. Knowing he had set the stage for great accomplishment, Nigo launched stores around the world in some of the most popular fashion setting places such as London, Hong Kong, and America.
Hip-Hop artist around the world have taken up the trends of Bathing Ape. Popular names such as Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Jin Au-Yeung, Young Jeezy, Da Banggaz, Jermaine Dupri, and The Clipse are only a few of Bathing Ape's best customers. One of the biggest contributions to Bathing Apes growth may be the celebrity attention due to the quality, rareness of designs, and its exclusiveness.
Bathing Ape Official Site (Japanese)