BAPE’s Spring/Summer 2024 runway show debuted at the Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, held at the Yoyogi National Stadium on August 31. The show unveiled 70 designs, including BAPE’s mainline collection and sub-labels AAPE and APEE. The “by R” project, fronted by Japan’s largest e-commerce platform Rakuten Group, gathered over 600 media personalities to celebrate three decades of Japanese streetwear and BAPE’s global fashion footprint. The SS24 collection, divided into three categories, “STREET VIBES,” “GREEK LIFE” and “WEEKEND CHILLIN,” was a spiraling survey of eclectic, textured street styles reflecting the subversive, chaotic consciousness of twentysomethings.
The massive event marked BAPE’s return to Tokyo, Japan, since its founding in 1993. Seated in the first row were star-studded influencers spanning Japan’s and South Korea’s fashion space, from the likes of fashion model Mitsuki Kimura (Kōki), fashion stylist OKUBOMEGANE, READYMADE founder Yuta Hosokawa, Japanese idol Genki Iwahashi, rap artist LEX and actor and singer Dori Sakurada. Other popular brands making headway in Japan’s Harajuku scene were in attendance, including Hiroaki Shimono of WHIZLIMITED, Daisuke Obana of N.Hoolywood and Japanese designer Masaaki Homma. K-pop artist Kang Daniel made an anticipated appearance on the runway wearing a two-piece denim set accented with oversized pockets and white star motifs. For those unable to attend in person, a global live broadcast invited viewers to experience the Tokyo showing virtually.
The show opened with “STREET VIBES,” referencing elements of skate culture, dance, BMX Flatland, football and more. The lineup introduced dynamic patterned prints, abstract Liquid Camo prints, jacquard fabrics, candy-colored pastels and neon colorways. Tracksuits, graphic jerseys and patterned shorts payed homage to sports culture infiltrating fashion following the inclusion of skateboarding and BMX into the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Celebrating youth culture, “GREEK LIFE,” by contrast, centered around college and campus life, a period of radical self-discovery explored through vibrant, experimental textiles. Graffiti prints inspired by college dorms and university campuses echoed BAPE’s youthful abandon. The collection’s patchwork elements using upcycled jerseys and school flags were paired alongside jacquard Terry fabrics and psychedelic, acid-washed summer styles such as oversized button-ups and patterned two-piece sets.
BAPE’s mainline collection closed with “WEEKEND CHILLIN,” a relaxed interpretation of pop-inspired Y2K aesthetics, offering pixelated prints, glow-in-the-dark accents and the return of BAPE’s signature CAMO pattern. Gradient color mixtures complemented the range of crocheted knits and denim shirts — with select pieces featuring heat-reactive materials. Archival denim shorts paired with slouchy Ape Head short-sleeved shirts and BAPE ABC CAMO high-top boots spoke to Gen Z’s peculiar relationship with virtual and physical realms in fashion.
The men’s sub-label AAPE continues BAPE’s theme of sports-meets-streets fashion, condensed into a ten-piece collection dominated by oversized basketball and baseball jerseys. Treatments with spray paint, gradient color motifs and rainbow-style Jacquard denim fabrics served up a brightly colored portrait of youth culture and sports fandom. The women’s APEE sub-label embraced Gen Z’s fixation with the fairycore aesthetic: think soft-washed pastels, delicate bows and ribbons applied to graphic mini dresses, structured corset tops, mini skirts and relaxed cargo pants.
Enshrining this cultural moment, BAPE released commemorative 30th-anniversary T-shirts. The retro collection features iconic logos (such as BABY MILO, the BAPE APE FACE mascot and BAPE CAMO) celebrating the brand’s heritage DNA. Additionally, BAPE curated a selection of archive pieces spanning the 1990s and 2000s available online for presale, with select styles showcasing vintage graphics predating the internet.
See the complete BAPE SS24 Runway Show by R in the gallery above, and watch the show below. Visit BAPE’s website to shop select styles and the commemorative 30th anniversary capsule.