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December 22, 2004

Nigo and Bathing Ape


[Note: BAPE in New York City is located at 91 Greene St. in SoHo. The telephone number is 212-925-0222]

Wired magazine is where I became familiar with the term "street cred," and no one's got more of it than Nigo (above), creator of Bathing Ape urban street ware.

He started his business in 1993 when he was 22, with a hole-in-the-wall T-shirt shop in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, that city's equivalent of the Lower East Side of New York.

In a story by Lola Ogunnaike in last Sunday's New York Times, he said, "when we first got there it was the quietest area of Tokyo, and now it's one of the coolest areas in Tokyo."

It's amazing what street cred can do for a street.

Bathing Ape's just opened a store in Manhattan's SoHo, the 16th outpost in its burgeoning empire which includes stores in Kyoto, Osaka, and London.


The stores are unmarked and intentionally made difficult to find, and sell clothes produced in carefully limited quantities to make them more scarce and, subsequently, more desirable.

Nigo also decrees that customers may buy only one piece of any product, and it must be in their size.

He said, "It's to help prevent people from selling the clothes on the black market. I really don't want a lot of people wearing my clothes."


I feel the same way.

That's why I never let anyone borrow my clothes. But I digress.

His Bape (shorthand for Bathing Ape) shoes sell for around $300 a pair in Manhattan, though they're going to be priced at $180 in his new store.

Rappers Jay-Z, Cassidy and Pharrell have been wearing them around town and in their videos, making them all the more desirable to those whose desires run in this direction.

Here's a link to the Times story.


I was musing about Nigo and fashion and street cred and what's hot and what's not and bookofjoe just now.

I'm never quite sure what to do about people and things like Nigo and Bathing Ape.

I mean, when something makes it into the New York Times, in a sense it's already over.

It's a little like the cover articles for Time, Fortune, and their ilk: when they herald the next big thing, the only thing you can be absolutely certain about is that the smart money has already been there and left.

The news that something is news is, actually, old news to those who made the best use of it.

Aristotle Onassis once said, "The secret of success in business is knowing something no one else knows."

True enough; of course, this is precisely what insider trading is all about.

Once everyone knows the secret, it's no longer a secret nor is it of much value.

So in a sense, I'm reluctant to even bother with things that are in the major media.

Better to stick with Zembla and Giant Robot and their ilk.


That's the idea, anyhow.

December 22, 2004 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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How could i tell if the shoe is fake or not, there are alot of stores out their that have them, and in each store the shoe is different?

Posted by: issac | Mar 20, 2005 7:47:30 PM

how come you dont sell bathing ape's in regular stores. you should sell them local. in regular stores that would be tight

Posted by: bay area kid | Mar 17, 2005 12:20:48 AM


Posted by: brooklyn kid | Mar 15, 2005 7:26:33 PM

I live and Cincinnati and I wish I ain't have to go all the way to New York to get the shoes I want. I can't wait til the website goes back online.

Posted by: Omolara McCloud | Mar 12, 2005 10:08:09 PM

I can't wait til I go to New York to get some BAPE shoes and some ice creams

Posted by: Omolara McCloud | Mar 12, 2005 10:03:56 PM

bathing ape died like 4 years ago, no one in japan realy rocks bape any more, how can u be underground when u make stuff with pepsi and MAC, u have all this so call ballers wearing knock off bapes, its sad that nigo killed his own brand. I'll stick with my goodenough and Wtaps brand fuck bathing ape.

Posted by: Slave1 | Mar 10, 2005 3:09:54 AM

My name is joseph im 16 years old i live in sacramento cali and i watch a lot of music videos and i liked bapes ever since i sceen them on that cassidy video and i only have one pair and i just wanted to know if they planed on opening a store any where on the westcoast

Posted by: Joseph Dickerson | Mar 10, 2005 1:49:16 AM

yo, the label of bape shirts should be black right? my friend bought a shirt from a guy who says that he has contact nigo's factory. But the label in his neck is white and it says : ape shall never kill ape. Is his shirt real or fake??

Posted by: fonkii_monkii* | Mar 8, 2005 11:59:25 AM

yes! I finally got an another pair of your fabolous shoes today at your store. I must say your staff is very friendly and i will go back on saturday because you will get a new shipment i heard.

Posted by: Antoine Robinson | Mar 6, 2005 5:34:36 PM

i want bath ape of 9.5

Posted by: guillermo davila | Mar 5, 2005 2:19:09 PM

first off, i'd like to give much love to nigo and pharrell for bringing something new and exciting to the world. i'm 20 yrs old with a mini shoe collection of around 50 pairs...i have them all from adidas old school to dunk sb's and everything in between. it seems like i'm the only african canadian rocking bathing ape and supreme. i want to thank you for being originators instead of duplicators, like most hip hop brands are.
p.s. - you should really think about opening a store in Toronto.

Posted by: damian | Mar 1, 2005 10:32:47 AM

wats up mane im rockin ur bapes out lovly ppl at my school r like wat r those...haha but on the real im feelin ur unique step to kicks random colors is ganna b the fresh thing from now on keep it up and thanks for making somthin new 1

Posted by: malik | Feb 26, 2005 1:04:36 PM

yo! bathingapes is whats poping in buffalo,ny .
Keep it exsclusive it simple, yall good!. 1 love sinin.

Posted by: j-sinin | Feb 23, 2005 5:19:27 PM

Yo, i've been watching bape in ebay, but i dont know if i should buy it. I never seen it, because i live in Denmark, and no1 knows about Bathing ape, so If some people can give me some infomation about "BAPE" i would be very happy. Please send me some mails at [email protected], or add me in MSN. by the way im 15 years old from Denmark, half vietnamese.

Laters.. Huy

Posted by: Huy | Feb 23, 2005 11:37:50 AM

Just wanna give much luv 2 my boi Nigo, keep doin ya dizzle my nizzle. I like to call myself a connoisseur of all things fashionable, and Bape stas r definitely the hottest thing around right now. I'm planning on making a trip 2 NY during Spring break 2 check out the new Bathing Ape store, but word on the street is they don't make size 13, wassup wit dat? Can n e one confirm this, b4 a nicca makes the trip? Or let a nicca know where else he can cop legitamate Bapestas in size 13's.

Posted by: d_maestro | Feb 22, 2005 1:50:39 PM


Posted by: PASSION718 | Feb 20, 2005 11:41:46 PM

man...Bape is overwhelm in asia countries...like..i am from HK...it's like uniform there..haha..

Posted by: jasonhuang | Feb 20, 2005 9:54:02 PM

hi its p.giddy iwant to say i own a room full of shoes 90% air1's and i have to be honest i'm looking to own a room full of ape shoes all colors i love the shoe man and by the way i'm from TORONTO so please think of me when thinking about expanding WE CRAVE FOR IT LIKE FEANS ON CRACK beleive me on that one. PEACE & LOVE

Posted by: panta pants/p.giddy | Feb 15, 2005 10:46:46 PM

anyone loking for authentic BAPE check out zembia.com or conceptshop.com.hk. there a couple of guys from japan on ebay who sell the real deal like pondon and tokyoape. anybody thats shipping from Japan is the real deal. if you go to london and do a currency exchange you get more for your bucks over there.

Posted by: glen s dowell | Feb 15, 2005 7:49:17 PM

YO! I think your clothing line is hot! But your prices are to high. I got a pair of bapes for £50 off the net but when i went to your store in LDN they were £150. Nigo if you want to make sales then lower your prices! As where not all rappers! Peace

Posted by: Brown Boi | Feb 13, 2005 2:18:54 PM

I think if you want to buy something over priced you should defeinatly go to the bape store. Even though the clothes are brilliant it is ridiculosly OVER PRICED. If i was a bigger shoe size i would get them off e-bay for 30 $. I also think that it is good in a way that bape is so highly priced because then its not like nike. EVERYONES WEARIN IT. i like bape but please lower the prices.

Posted by: hazza | Feb 12, 2005 5:27:56 PM

hi I m brian and im 14 years old and i love bathing ape. i have about 20 pairs and i love em all. im really into sb's but bathing ape is the shti. nigo you got to hook me up with some clothes because i dont really know wher to get them. i think you and pharrell are the tighest people ever. i just got the tokoyos sb, this one fool hooked me up, maybe you could do the same. peace out nigo.

Posted by: brian | Feb 12, 2005 4:04:56 PM

I want to give Nijo credit for staying in the game and keeping his hope alive. Your ideas are incrediable. I'm on the same path with my animation work. I wish i could share some of my ideas with you, but i can't post them on board because people may try to take my ideas that i have. Keep up the good work and hopefully one day i will be able to share my vision with you.

Posted by: Watson Williams | Feb 11, 2005 1:14:12 PM

WUDDA UP...its ur boi history..i been in da A BATHING APE store in NYC a few days ago its hot..not enough clothes but i guess thats wat Nigo wants...i sneakers r HOT...i got da green rasta those shits r HOT...anywayz im cop a other pair this week..mayb da jacob's or da pinks one u kno got to have sumthing pink and if its BAPES its even betta ...NIGO holla NIKKA u da shit wudda up 1 b safe

Posted by: history | Feb 10, 2005 1:17:40 AM

the store in soho in Ny is fu*** bad do u have any other web sites u can buy the shoes

Posted by: jorge | Feb 9, 2005 10:30:35 PM

Hey was up peeps I was wondering if anyone knows about a online store that sell bathing apes besides vintagekicks????? please respond

Posted by: wish | Feb 9, 2005 6:58:01 PM

yoh andrew bird

Posted by: andrew bird | Feb 9, 2005 9:05:13 AM

i just bought a pair of bape's at the NYc store and the icks are awesome. my props to nigo and all his design's.
im planing to have atleast 10 pairs by this summer.


Posted by: ruben | Feb 7, 2005 10:49:51 AM

Heya, been looking over ebay and have really got into the whole bape line! the ice creams r hot! the hoodied r decent! and the reverable t0shirts r norty! so i checked out the bape store in london! NICE! but the satff don't know whats coming in when! nice stuff always! but need to know when its in becase people LINE UP OUTSIDE THE SHOP TO BUY IT!! gotta admit i would too! if i knew release dates! and also all the catalogues have sold out so i dont even know whats coming up! kust glipses on ebay and pharrell! sort it out lease have an officil site to show whats coming up!
NEWAYS! trus ill b busin' bape when i know whats comin in store! keep callin back!! +44 20 74944924

Posted by: me | Feb 2, 2005 1:21:11 PM

All the Bape clothes are nice looking but I don't think anyone who doesn't have the money should go out of their way to purchase super expensive clothes that is gonna look like shit after you put it in the washing machine anyway.

Posted by: Johanny | Feb 1, 2005 4:24:01 PM

Nigo, you are the next comeing! dawn of a new day in the fashion world, you have given me the insperation to make my own line! keep up the good work, and I wish you much more success. mar.

Posted by: marcarria | Feb 1, 2005 12:44:00 AM

All of you people just get in the stores. Most bape online is fake and sporting that kind of stuff makes the brand less exclusive and takes away from people who make the journey to NYC or London just to get some sneakers. I'm from Detroit and waited to get out there before I got my pair.

also a good way to spot fakes is the cropping of the bapesta star logo. the one pictured above fits perfectly into that little spot. the edges of the star is narrow and it's not too close to the side. often you'll see fakes lop sided or overlapping.

Posted by: christopher | Jan 30, 2005 8:23:10 PM

does anyone know any online store that sells bape stuff, that are not fake? please let me know of any websites i can order from. is the cost of the bapes really that much? 300? I were kids size would that be any cheaper for me or not please let me know

Posted by: Britt | Jan 30, 2005 3:20:37 PM

please let me know of any websites i can order from. I sit on this computer 4 hours trying to figure out whats real or not. I dont roc fake shit. Im in boston and help w/ your clothes. peace james

Posted by: james | Jan 29, 2005 1:41:19 AM

does anyone know any online store that sells bape stuff, that are not fake?

Posted by: VM4N | Jan 28, 2005 2:47:24 PM

You really should stop the shoe size at 13 . I would definitely cop em they just dont fit me.Cmon homey think about the big ballers.Other than that your shoes is fiyyaaa!!! And i still like the fact that you limit your clothing,keep it exclusive das wasssuup...ONE

Posted by: D E Z | Jan 28, 2005 10:38:09 AM

Bape Sta's are yesterday man ! (lol) Leave those for Pharell Williams and Nelly (fashion smashion) BAPE's selling out fast ... the tee's and Jackets are still cool though same goes for Maharishi, UNKLE and Futura ! Wots the next good brand to get RAPED !

Posted by: James | Jan 28, 2005 9:14:35 AM

I love Bape aswell, I love the new red hoody Pharrell has in the Snoop video lets get blown.

Thta is absolutely beautiful.

I have a lot of information on Bape and Ice Cream, ne1 interested should email me.

Posted by: Rimac Anthony | Jan 27, 2005 4:38:57 PM

Bapes are so Hot....do they make em for girls??? i would so buy like a million pairs! i love them!!!

Posted by: Violet | Jan 25, 2005 11:19:06 PM

iam 15 and i like to say ooooooooooh my god your clothing is F*cking hot i think that your ideas are great creative and very fasiohable to my expertice. furious, dangerious and also very limited (to bad you only could by one piece of clothing)good job nicca.

look out for my clothing line ''JAH''probably in the year 2006.(yeah right)

Posted by: ajahwe | Jan 24, 2005 8:13:29 PM

I would also really like to know the address of the manhattan location. I am thoroughly impressed with Bape and would really like to get a hold of some gear.

Posted by: Saran | Jan 20, 2005 8:56:22 PM

please send me some information on ordering bape gear from the london shop please?

Posted by: nick mullington | Jan 20, 2005 8:38:53 AM

Is there anyway i can contact Nigo or Bape and ask them to make shoes that will fit me????

Posted by: E. NoRMu$ | Jan 19, 2005 8:45:42 PM

hi i would like to say i love your shoes when i saw them i threw my aqir force ones out the window i only own 1 pair now and am trying to get more keep up the good work. :)

Posted by: Elisha | Jan 18, 2005 9:10:44 PM

What is the exact address for the bapes store in NYC

Posted by: sylvester | Jan 18, 2005 8:29:29 PM

I just want to say hey to indi and i really love the bape shop, i was annoyed dey didnt let me take pics of da shoes i liked but dats kl. I really wanna get some but dey are sooooo expencive and the staff are not very helpful but i still love bape

Posted by: harry forte | Jan 16, 2005 7:00:52 AM

I would like to say i love your shoe and i would to know the exact location of your new bathing ape store in manhattan because i would like to buy another pair. Also i would like to say it is a honor to wear your shoe.

Posted by: antoine robinson | Jan 14, 2005 12:28:36 AM

what are some good sites to purchuse "BAPE" products. there are many counterfit products which I'm trying to avoid.

Posted by: daniel | Jan 9, 2005 4:59:50 AM


Posted by: Indigo lewin | Jan 8, 2005 7:17:11 AM

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