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MR. BATHING APE Spring/Summer 2011

April 21, 2011

Now I’ll be the first to admit that when I initially heard of the collaboration between Nigo and Japanese retailer United Arrows that was to be called MR. BATHING APE, I thought that it was a bit of a gimmick, and one that I had little interest in. However now that I’ve had my hands on some of the collection that’s starting to change.

I still don’t particularly want a moustache on my shoes, or a pink BAPE camouflage tie, but when you see it put together in the more somber tones like the above shots taken by Neil Bedford and styled by Craig Ford for INVENTORY, you do get a better understanding of how it all works. Plus it’s interesting to see a streetwear label starting to make a more formal product but still maintain the essence of the original brand, something I think this achieves well.

There are pieces in this collection that are just downright corking – I think the grey two-button suit looks particularly good, as does the black and white gingham one. All the shirting I’ve handled has been great – very well made with lovely fabrics, in a choice of Oxford button down, broadcloth, or a check. All have the signature Mr Bathing Ape moustache logo on the chest but it’s a subtle affair.

There’s also a bit of denim in the collection, which is made by Warehouse (no, not the high street chain) in a 1940’s cut, with a wide straight leg and brace buttons on the waist. And then there’s the shoes. There’s two styles – a Longwing Brogue and a Penny Loafer and and both are made by Regent, Japan’s oldest shoemaker. The brogues I have to admit to really liking, they’re fantastic quality, although rather expensive.

If you fancy getting your hands on any of this, the collection is being sold though Present London and MR. PORTER.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. ben permalink
    April 21, 2011 9:06 am

    Such a mixture of emotions about this entire brand! And I think it mainly comes down to the BAPE connection, I really don’t see there being that many customers to make it a viable business. Nigo did a very good job of interpreting American culture with his own Japanese twist, and he appears to be trying to do the same with saville row’esqe tailoring this time.

    I completely agree with you that the outfits above are really good, but it’s the price points that put me off, ive brought good bespoke suits for less than the £1300 that the 3 piece costs, and good quality bespoke shirts costing £130, over £100 cheaper than the shirtings, for me it’s a no brainer. I could see myself taking one of those photos to my tailor as a starting point and add things to my taste, heading off in my own direction. Maybe im not the intended target market, but I loved bape back in the day and I love suits, so If im not, im not sure who is, rich Japanese or Chinese (I read this is the big market for the newly brought out BAPE) 30 somethings? Id be genuinely interested to see how much of this stuff Mr porter is selling.

    Maybe id pick up a tie if it was in the sale, like 70% off sale, but it never will be coz its nigo after all! Sorry if ive ranted!

    • April 21, 2011 10:45 am

      Don’t apologise mate, everything you’ve written there I fully agree with.

      The price of this stuff is insane, £200 for a tie? It’s cheaper to go down Saville Row, same with the shirts (although the ones I’ve handled have been beautifully made). The suiting costs the same as high end off the peg stuff, but I again agree that you can get great M-T-M or entry level bespoke for a similar price. I also don’t know who the target market is, because the price bracket it’s in puts it head-to-head with much more authentic tailoring. I don’t really understand who buys this & stuff like visvim, it’s so stupidly expensive that it makes many ‘premium’ brands seem like a bargain.

      Surely the kids that were into BAPE back in the day (and I include myself in this bracket) have grown up and left the brand behind to an extent – although I do still wear some of my old (like 10 years old) BAPE bits. I do really like the ideas behind it all and I also applaud the fact that it’s been done to such a high level whist keeping lots of the touches we’ve come to know BAPE for.

      Would I buy any of it? No. I’m not buying anything until there’s a shark hood tuxedo in the range…

  2. April 21, 2011 11:21 am

    I suppose I automatically think bespoke or savile when I think ‘quality’ suiting, but a lot of other people (esp outside of this country) will think, Dior, prada, RL purple etc… and maybe taking some of that market share is the idea.

    I had similar feeling about the recent supreme suit, I still buy supreme but would still go elsewhere for a suit, but by all accounts that has sold well, although the lower price point would have a lot to do with it i imagine.

  3. smartypants123 permalink
    April 21, 2011 11:42 am

    Christ on a bike this stuff is steep! I agree that he’s done a good job of fusing Bape and formalwear together but there’s no way I’d buy any of it either. The shoes are nearly £600. Fuck that.

  4. Rob permalink
    April 21, 2011 10:51 pm

    Well, let’s see here – $2,000 for a suit, $200 for a tie, a requisition order for a Ferrari. I don’t wanna see any more of these blue slips. When am I gonna see some arrest slips?

  5. April 22, 2011 10:43 pm

    the prices are insane. this does make for an interesting lookbook

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