The legendary streetwear brand Bape just celebrated their 25th anniversary at Madison Square Garden last Thursday December 6, 2018 featuring performances by artists who have represented the brand. Founded by Nigo in 1993, A Bathing Ape remains iconic and trendy. The brand is mostly known for bringing the Tokyo creative fashion scene to streetwear and hip-hop. In the early 2000s, an era where we dressed in t-shirts so large they reached our ankles, we began seeing some rappers wearing their iconic camouflage print. Even before then, the Notorious B.I.G was seen wearing a Cape ski jacket with Versace sunglasses in a photoshoot for . Later on we recognized their camo on artists Lil Wayne and Pharell Williams. Bape stood out for their slim fits and structures inspired by Japanese fashion during an era where the trend was overly-oversized outfits.
Bape is one of the first streetwear brands to begin collaborations with other brands, including Hello Kitty, Supreme, Mastermind, Adidas, and Puma. They even teamed up with Mitsubishi to create the ‘Ape Evasive Motorsports Evo 19’ in 2006. The brand has also created divisions like Aape and Baby Milo. In 2002, Nigo released the Bapesta sneaker, which resembles Nike’s Air Force 1 silhouette, featuring a star with an extended lightning zap in place of the Nike logo check. In 2005, Nigo and Pharrell partnered up to create and launch Billionaire Boys Club, and Ice Cream footwear.
Bape commemorated their 25th anniversary with a concert for their fans. Performances included Lil Yatchy, Pusha T, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, DJ Cipha Sounds, and Kid Cudi, all artists we’ve seen in Bape gear. I attended the show myself. They gave out stickers and light-up wrist bands, and sold Bape T-Shirts. The festival was good vibes, a bunch of fashion-heads who got together to enjoy good music, drinks, and get lifted. It was quite the fashion show. People gathered around the walls decorated in Bape camouflage. The Bape Heads Show, done yearly, is known to bring different people and artists together from all around the world. Although we are unsure if the Bape Heads Show will become a yearly event again, bringing the gathering back for their twenty-fifth anniversary was a great gesture.