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Celebrating A Bathing Ape’s 15th anniversary this year, the Japanese empire continues its strong presence in the heart of the streetwear scene with a focus on more contemporary designs while still infusing their lineups with the same approach that put Bape on the map. In a rare interview with founder NIGO, Complex gives us some insight on specifics many have wondered for the past few years:
“I don’t think our clothes are so expensive; we make things in a very similar system to high-fashion designers… But we are interested in casual clothes. People get our jeans, tees and sweats confused with mass-produced consumer items. We respect the spirit of what we want to do over financial considerations – that’s consistent with our motto, I think.”
“I sort of fell out of touch with hip-hop… But the thing that got me enthusiastic about it again in the late ’90s was the South, especially Cash Money. So, Lil Wayne wearing the clothes I had made was amazing. I am very pleased if he is known for wearing Bape.”
“I have a girlfriend, and we have been together for about three years. She is a well-known actress in Japan [Riho Makise], and people are aware of the relationship… But she has her own career, and I don’t want to interfere in that. So, there is a conscious decision to avoid being seen together in public too often.”