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Photo: Chiaki Tskumo/AP Photo
Nigo, 33, Hustler of Hip
A decade ago in Tokyo, Nigo was a fashion student, stylist, and DJ who couldn't find streetwear that was quite tough enough. So—like any good style mogul in the making—he designed his own, famously borrowing his signature slogan—"Ape shall never kill ape"—from that Charlton Heston cult classic. Nigo's well-cut, strictly limited stock became the object of frenzied desire among global cool kids and formed the basis of a mushrooming enterprise that now includes boutiques in Japan, London, and New York; a Tokyo-based hip-hop label; consulting agreements with Louis Vuitton and Pharrell Williams' Billionaire Boys Club; a sneaker deal with Reebok; and A Bathing Ape cafés and hair salons. One look at the ultra-cool perma-line outside the new SoHo store, and it's clear that Ape knows exactly what Ape is doing.
a bathing ape comes to soho
Nigo, a Japanese fashion designer, features bright shoes at A Bathing Ape, his first American store.
The first American outpost of A Bathing Ape, the urban street wear chain that has been wildly popular in Japan for over a decade, just opened in SoHo in New York City.
IT was not the chic designer dresses in the entrance of the Kirna Zabête boutique or the lingerie-clad mannequins of La Perla that stopped foot traffic on Greene Street in SoHo last Monday afternoon, but something a bit more, ahem, pedestrian: sneakers.
Twelve pairs — in vivid, whimsical color combinations like robin's-egg blue and yellow and Baskin-Robbins pink and brown — were circling around in a storefront window on what looked like a miniature baggage carousel, and a small crowd of hipsters and tourists had gathered to watch.
"Those right there are the hottest ones," said one wide-eyed young man, pointing at a pair in lime green and black. He and his fellow gawkers were standing in front of the first American outpost of A Bathing Ape, the urban street wear chain that has been wildly popular in Japan for over a decade, the day after the store's opening.
It was a scene that Nigo (pronounced NEE-go), the soft-spoken, 33-year-old designer behind the Bathing Ape line and Japan's reigning king of cool, had seen many times before. "They're like eye candy," he said of his creations.
The SoHo Bathing Ape is the 16th store in Nigo's ever-expanding empire, which began in 1993 as a hole-in-the-wall T-shirt shop in the Harajuku district in Tokyo and now includes clothing outlets across Tokyo and in Kyoto, Osaka and London.
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UPDATE January 14, 2004
Designer Nigo and Pharrell Williams at the opening of A Bathing Ape in New York on Monday (Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
Kanye, Pharrell, Mos Def Celebrate A Designer With Sole
NEW YORK — It would seem a lot of people on hip-hop's A-list have a shoe fetish.Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Mos Def, the Roots' ?uestlove, Common, Faith Evans, Clipse's Pusha T, Spike Lee and a host of other tastemakers and fashionistas braved the cold and rain Monday night to celebrate the opening of A Bathing Ape in New York's Soho neighborhood. (more)
UPDATE January 19, 2004
A Bathing Ape, Soho, New York. These shoes are on a rotating mirror-base in the display window. I find that when choosing shoes, I need to see them not only rotate, but reflected as well.(photo by kenyee, used by permission, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenyee/2566963/)
Additonal info on A Bathing Ape, New York courtesy superfuture.com
address: 91 greene st new york ny 10013
telephone: +1 212 925 0222
map: click here
UPDATE January 20, 2004
Get your Bapes Online from PickYourShoes.com
Part of the A Bathing Ape selection at PickYourShoes.com 1/20/05