Late last month, A Bathing Ape took another big step into China as NIGO was on hand to open his latest store in Beijing. Created in conjunction with I.T, the BAPE STORE Beijing location joins two previous retail locations in Shanghai and Hong Kong. With the disposable income of the China market growing at an alarming rate, the brand who has long been a commonplace within the regional scene will surely see a greater presence with each grown season.
While the fledging Mainland China market wasn’t conducive to BAPE’s expansion until recently, NIGO mentioned that the understanding of both design and subculture are now something the Mainland Chinese are able to connect with. We took the chance to discuss several different topics with the ambitious founder ranging from the beginnings of A Bathing Ape, its recent outwards expansion into diffusion labels, collaborations and the brand’s similarity to Ralph Lauren.
Interview: Edward Chiu
Text: Eugene Kan
Photography: Louis Lau & Edward Chiu