BAPE was founded by Nigo in 1993
The brand started out as a single store under a different name that Nigo called Nowhere. He and high school buddy Jun Takahashi started the business in Harajuku. Jun was best known for his Undercoversim fame.
The intention behind the name of the brand has two meanings. The acronym for starters really stands for A Bathing Ape in lukewarm water. The meanings behind the rather long brand name include a reference to the classic movie “Planet of the Apes.” The second meaning of the name is taken from Japanese culture and it’s something that people from the outside might not readily understand. It alludes to a bathing method that involves bathing in water that is heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. As you sit in the water for an extended period of time, it cools to a lukewarm temperature. This is a form of overindulgence and laziness. The name points out that the current generation of Japanese youths have grown lazy and they love to overindulge in luxury and these are the people who are purchasing the brand. When you analyze it for a few moments, it makes perfect sense.
Even though Nowhere Co and the BAPE brand is Japanese, most of the products are actually manufactured in China. Of course, where the bape company can get the labor for a rate that they consider to be reasonable.
BAPE is an interesting brand to discuss because there is such a mixed bag of reviews about the streetwear. For those who love the brand and appreciate its history, those feelings aren’t going away because of new trends in streetwear. It’s about what you identify with and clothing is very personal. There are probably more negative reviews about the brand because of its lack of keeping up with new modern trends because most of the products are manufactured in China because the products are expensive or because some reviewers claim that the quality is good, but it’s nothing special. There are a lot of reasons why people have something less than flattering to say about the brand. BAPE certainly isn’t for everyone and there are plenty of consumers who make this clear but for the rest of the consumers who continue to deplete the shelves of product, BAPE is a line of essential streetwear.