Iconic Japanese urbanwear label A Bathing Ape (BAPE) has been purchased by Hong Kong clothing retailer IT Ltd for approximately USD 2.8 million. The label was reported to be hemorrhaging cash at a rate of JPY 190M a year, which made the sale a dire necessity.
The brand was created by Japanese designer Nigo in the late 90s, and soon rose to prominence in and outside of Japan. Some of the label’s high-profile endorsers and collaborators included rap stars Kanye West and Pharell Williams.
The brand’s street cred and cool cache was so desirable that it became a prime target for manufacturers of faux designer items. Fake BAPE merchandise can be found in street markets and online stores from as far adrift as Bangkok, France, Mexico, and Manila. The company has not indicated in any way if the theft of their intellectual property was the prime cause for their demise, or if it was simply the victim of market pressures.