The Most Iconic BAPE Pieces
A Bathing Ape, better known as BAPE, is a Japanese streetwear brand that was founded in 1993 by NIGO. The brand’s roots trace back to the Harajuku area of Tokyo and is one of the most famous brands of Streetwear around the world. Over 25 years Bape has become an icon of styling, with their pieces and patterns making the brand one of the most recognizable ever. In this blog we’re going to check out the most iconic pieces from BAPE!
One of the most well-known graphics of BAPE is their camo print also known as the ‘ Cloud Camo’. This element has transcended streetwear to become one of the most iconic patterns for more than two decades.
The first camo series of Bape was born in 1996, with there now being more than 100 variations of original camouflage apparel. The idea of using hunting camouflage colors was inspired by the U.S. military camouflage, and placing the BAPE® APE HEAD over it attests to the revolutionary and inventive nature of BAPE designs.
The camouflage graphic is a mix of different elements: Firstly, the reference to the military camo that’s match perfect to the fascination of Japanese with military clothing.
Secondly, the design is inspired by the duck-hunting camouflage, but with a fun twist.
And thirdly, Nigo creates different colors of this camo and uses it in different garments, furniture, and elements of Bape collections. This use of multiple camouflage colors is a homage to the work of Andy Warhol, who mass-manufactured culture into works of art.
The Bapesta is the name of one of the most iconic sneakers in the sneakerhead culture. It was first introduced in the early 2000s. As you can see in the picture above, the Bapesta is very similar to Nike’s iconic Air Force 1—which was released two decades earlier, in 1982. The differences are subtle but important. The lightning star replaces the Swoosh, while the words “APE” or “BAPE” replaced the “AIR” that typically appears on the Air Force 1’s midsole.
One main difference between Nike and Bape models is that the Bapesta is constructed from patent leather. This difference made the Bapestas a success in sales during the early ‘00’s, a period in which many hip-hop artists began wearing Bapestas.
The Shark hoodie is probably the most recognizable Bape piece on the Streets, and because of this is the most-have in Streetwear fashion. First released in 2004, the distinctive ‘shark’ design on the hood was actually taken from military artwork that would be placed on the nose of fighter planes or even the hulls of battleships. The distinctive tiger ‘A’ symbol stands for A Bathing Ape, while the accompanying ‘WGM’ chenille varsity patches stand for ‘World Gone Mad’, and the full-zip hood feature was a somewhat anomalous feature at the time which opened the Shark Hoodie up to all sorts of edgy and unique photo opportunities.