A Bathing Ape (or simply BAPE) is a Japanese fashion brand founded by Nigo (Tomoaki Nagao) in Ura-Harajuku in 1993. The brand is known for specialising in men’s, women’s and children’s lifestyle and street wear, with 19 stores across Japan, including Bape Stores, Bape Pirate Stores, Bape Kids Stores, Bapexclusive Aoyama, and Bapexclusive Kyoto. This brand has engraved itself as one of the most prominent streetwear brands for decades, its influence and cult-like following are undeniable and my favourite Bape era was the Lil Wayne, Pharell and Kanye West era.
In 2000 BAPE introduced the Bapesta, as a means of paying homage to the famed Nike Air Force 1. Swapping out the Swoosh logo for a star with a protruding shooting star, the silhouette earned a reputation as one of the era’s most iconic silhouettes, arriving in vibrant colourways and glossy material finishes. Today, the Bapesta serves as a blank canvas for creative collaborators, such as Comme des Garçons, and OVO to JJJJound and Ronnie Fieg.
Bape’s newest offering is yet another collaboration with END. the leading retailer of style, sneakers, culture, and community to bring us a bowling-inspired collection. The collaborative collection is said to have been an infusion of deep appreciation for vintage Americana, which forms an integral part of the Japanese label’s identity. This Bapesta is made of two colours that go well together and also happen to both be my favourite; brown/maroon and green. The green shade is placed on the outer lateral side of the shoe, while the maroon splits evenly down the middle to create a mirror-image colour-blocking, with the eminent signature Bape shooting star logo alternating the mirror-image colour-blocking. The shoe is launching on the 03rd of December and it will be retailing for $265 (R4 507).
At the back, the theme is driven home – bespoke pins line up in formation with ‘1993’ – the year that the label stepped up to become a Ura-Hara icon, with the Ape Head at the centre – setting you up for a strike.– END.