It’s already the 7th season for Nigo’s new venture and the collections are just growing nicely from re-releasing and re-inovating clothing-collectors wet dreams to actually offering a more street-wear oriented, wearable collection. I feel like the brand itself got more present over the past few months and the “ice bear drawing” from Human Made slowly grew on me, nearly achieving something like a “logo character”. And it’s a good change.
When Nigo sold Bape he was probably long over the style which Bape originally stood for. It was primarily a Hip-Hop brand back then and was designed to be worn baggy. Over time the cut was altered for the Bape hoodies to be more fitted and the designes became more subtle. When the Mr. Bathing Bape line was announced one could feel that Nigo wanted to do something entirely new, something men’s wear oriented. And I have to admit, the Mr. Bathing Ape offerings are one of my favorite looks from Bape.
If you’re interested in buying Bape and Human Made directly from Japan read my guide on where and how to order from Japan.
When Nigo sold his Bape collection
There is a famous Japanese website called honeyee on which many popular Japanese designers and artists curate their own mini blogs. Nigo has one, Poggy has one and even Kaws and Pharrell (as two Western exceptions) have one. Honeyee also released the Bape Archives Vol.02 and is one of the most influential Japanese websites regarding fashion and design. I’m not quite sure when it happened exactly but Nigo announced in 2010/11 on his honeyee blog that he was selling his Bape collection.
Tons of boxes packed up with Bape goodness and ready to be shipped to a new loving owner. But Nigo’s style changed even more early. When he did an interview for Casa Brutus (a Japanese design mag) he got the cover story and a couple of pages were given to pictures of his home. Even if he was still wearing his Bape stuff back then, or probably just for the interview, the interior of his house made a big change. For the better, that’s for sure. Portraits were replaced by Warhol art and Eames furniture made cozy place to invite guests to.
For pictures from Nigo’s house, have a look at the book Atelier by Nigo (which was released by by Casa Book, the book label of Casa Brutus)
Collecting clothing and Human Made
The new brand is primarily focusing on vintage clothing or rather the essence of certain vintage models Nigo likes to collect. He sometimes aims for replica-like copies of some very sought after pieces but is basically doing what he likes to and recreates the charm of americana-vintage. Some pieces are made of silk, some of Japanese cotton and everything is correspondingly expensive. I personally don’t own any Human Made piece yet so I can only comment on the quality with third row knowledge. But the quality shall be on point. Everything is produced in Japan with selected garments and special care to the construction of the clothing. It’s nice to see that Nigo stepped up his game in this regard.
One of the major downers regarding Bape has always been the quality. Bape’s Witnesses are now probably coming to tell me that the Bathing Ape is always pure quality stuff with lots of care for details. Hands down, I always wanted to convince me that the Bape quality is great but just between you and me: The quality stinks. At least for the price. When Ecko was still on top of their game the quality was excellent. I still own some of their hoodies (which I only wear at home because, yeah, the stuff is not exactly wearable anymore) and even after 15 years the quality holds up very nicely. One of the main reason I bought Ecko back then was their love for details and I always wanted to find that in Bape as well. But unfortunately that’s not the case and what remains are their distinctive designs by Sk8thing which always manage to draw me into buying another camo printed something.
A black shark and one of these good looking green Bape camo jackets (Gore Tex) are on their way to my place and will hopefully arrive within the next week. Always wanted to have one of these jackets with salmon colored lining. I already selected some Human Made for my next order from Japan. The blue Dry Alls crew neck will definitely be one of these. Like always, will take some pictures once the stuff arrives. よろしく