2008 BAPE Black Gillet Vest
In 2008 A Bathing Ape presented their new collection for the FW08 season. This collection featured many new silhouettes and styles. A reoccurring theme in this collection is the use of shiny materials and high end silhouettes mixed with streetwear staple pieces such as varsity jackets and hoodies. This BAPE piece captured the early merging of streetwear and high fashion.
A Bathing Ape or BAPE is a Japanese brand founded by NIGO in 1993. The name is derived from the Japanese idiom "A bathing ape in lukewarm water" and one of NIGO's favorite movies "Planet of the apes" from 1968. In the early 2000's BAPE emerged as a true cult brand. The Japanese brand reached global popularity among the biggest Artists in the world such as Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams, who later on created an entire new brand with NIGO. A Bathing Ape formed a cultural bridge between Japanese fashion and modern day American Pop Culture. Until this day, the influence of BAPE is undeniably present in streetwear fashion. It was the obsessive, perfectionistic, futuristic and sometimes misunderstood way of working that made NIGO the legendary designer that he is. However, some of those qualities may have caused financial issues within the company. In 2011 BAPE was sold for just $2.8 million dollars. An extremely low amount considering Supreme was sold for $2.1 billion.