Bape are a brand that have an endless archive of collaborations, more than enough to combat any other well known brand. There are so many it’s easy to forget even some of the most iconic of the bunch. Therefore, we’ve rounded up our favourites from over the years and put them in an easy to read list.
From collaborations that can almost be considered a novelty, right the way through to huge scale collaborations with world famous rappers, Bape (or A Bathing Ape) have done it all. Ever since the brand was founded by the already well established Nigo in 1993, they’ve been releasing a constant stream of collaborations with companies from every neck of the woods. There’s way too many out there to make a complete guide, however we have picked our favourites and listed them here, giving you all the necessary background information, and some tips on how to get your hands on some of these collaborations, which isn’t always easy.
- 1 15. Bape x Star Wars
- 2 14. Bape x G-Shock
- 3 13. Bape x Disney
- 4 12. Bape x Nintendo
- 5 11. Bape x WTAPS
- 6 10. Bape x Pharrell
- 7 9. Bape x Stussy
- 8 8. Bape x Minions
- 9 7. Bape x Converse
- 10 6. Bape x Pepsi
- 11 5. Bape x Carhartt
- 12 4. Bape x Kanye West
- 13 3. Bape x KAWS
- 14 2. Bape x Adidas
- 15 1. Bape x Supreme
- 16 On That Note
15. Bape x Star Wars
Launching in 2011, this collaboration featured T-shirts depicting iconic Star Wars characters in Baby Milo form. Nigo himself is known to be a movie fanatic, especially when it comes to sci-fi films. He’s totally obsessed with Planet of the Apes, which is where the brand actually got its name from. So when this Star Wars collaboration was announced, no one was massively surprised. It’s a known fact that Nigo actually has a huge collection of Star Wars memorabilia, and when this collaboration dropped in Japan, there was a dedicated pop-up shop created, where his whole collection was on display.
14. Bape x G-Shock
G-Shock were one of the first brands that Bape ever collaborated with. In 1998, the two companies came together to produce 1000 limited edition watches, featuring Bape’s iconic “First Camo” print. These are pretty hard to come across these days and would definitely cost you a pretty penny. However, it’s a partnership that’s continued ever since. Every few seasons, the two will join forces again and release several colourways and designs. In our opinion, we wouldn’t waste money paying resell for one of these, as the chances are soon enough new colourways will launch, and it shouldn’t be too much of a struggle to pick one up for retail.
13. Bape x Disney
Throughout the years of 2006-2009, Bape teamed up with world renowned Disney several times. First off, they created a series of Plush characters featuring Bape’s camouflage patterns in an understated manner – these characters included Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse. Later on, more characters became available, as well as a series of limited edition T-shirts (pictured). Unfortunately, this team effort was limited to the Asian market only, making them pretty hard to track down on this side of the world. If you do manage to find a piece for a decent price however, we’d advise picking it up, as it’s a piece of Bape history.
12. Bape x Nintendo
Both being Japanese brands, this collaboration only made sense. Video game streetwear fans were treated to a Nintendo DS featuring Baby Milo and Mario, as well as a whole heap of apparel, including a full-zip Mario hood. The collaboration launched in 2008, and as well as the standard Nintendo DS (pictured), there was also a super limited gold version that you had to be very very lucky to get your hands on. If you’re looking to pick up anything from this collection now, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem finding any of the apparel for a good price. With regards to the DS, they’re less common to come across, but still shouldn’t set you back too much of a hefty price tag.
11. Bape x WTAPS
WTAPS are another hugely popular Japanese streetwear brand, but they’re way more low-key than Bape. Favoured by old-school and underground streetwear heads, WTAPS produces garments of exceptional quality and they’re often inspired by standard issue military clothes. The two brands first collaborated way back in 2007 and more recently they released a small collection at the rear end of 2017, featuring a down parka, hoodie, track-pants and other apparel. The original collaboration is pretty much a myth to get hold of these days, however you shouldn’t have too much of a problem getting your hands on the recent team effort for close to retail price.
10. Bape x Pharrell
Nigo and Pharrell Williams go way back and have a lot of history. Nigo was heavily involved with the hip-hop scene in general, and N.E.R.D during the early days. Their friendship never diminished, and whilst Bape took off, Pharrell was heavily responsible for wearing the brand and bringing it into the mainstream. Eventually, Bape officially collaborated with Pharell on a Roadsta silhouette – one of the lesser seen Bape trainers. The shoe reflected Pharrell’s style via crazy metallic colours, and on the rear of the shoe a small portrait of the star’s head can be seen. Fortunately, these are actually pretty easy to come across on the resell market, and often sell for way below retail price. It’ll still be a challenge finding an unworn pair however, as most are well loved.
9. Bape x Stussy
Both Bape and Stussy are equally dominant in the streetwear world, boasting impressive histories and huge customer bases. When the two brands first came together it was a pretty historical moment. Over the years, the pair have now joined forces several times, releasing Bape x Stussy T-shirts, hoodies, and other apparel. Perhaps the most iconic T-shirts that the two have produced are the Stussy logo tee’s featuring First Camo detailing, which launched in 2010. Depending on the item, you can generally locate Bape x Stussy pieces fairly easily. However certain shirts will be more of a challenge to get your hands on, and in turn demand a higher price.
8. Bape x Minions
To celebrate the launch of the film Despicable Me 3, Bape teamed up with the films creators to launch an entire capsule collection featuring the film’s Minions alongside Bape’s own mascot, Baby Milo. A full-zip Minion hoodie was the mainstay of the collection, but everything from Ape head T-shirts right through to a Minion themed face-mask was released. The collaboration wasn’t actually a huge success, as for the most part it was pretty unwearable in terms of fashion. However, we still believe it’s earned its place in this list through obscurity. If you are interested in picking up something from this collection, you should be able to find the majority of it for under retail price.
7. Bape x Converse
Bape are well known for their footwear, however they’ve always produced their own renditions of certain silhouettes, for example the Bapesta is heavily inspired by the Nike Air Force 1. However, this all changed in 2006. For the first time ever, Bape collaborated with a major sneaker brand, Converse. These were no copycat sneaker, they were the real deal. The Bape x Converse sneaker is notoriously hard to track down now, as only a limited run were originally produced. If you do find a pair on the resell market now, expect to pay a fair amount – and it probably won’t be as easy as just finding a pair.
6. Bape x Pepsi
We’ve got to give it the guys over at Bape, some of their collaborations are the strangest we’ve ever seen – in a good way. 2001 saw Bape collaborate with one of the largest soft drink companies in the world – Pepsi. Three limited edition bottles, coming in blue, green, or pink were released. Bape’s flagship stores were all kitted out with vending machines that dispensed the bottles for as little as $1. The bottles were perfect for collectors, and do also make great ornaments. Since then, Bape have joined forces with Pepsi several more times, for different variations of cans and bottles. The original bottles can be found for next to nothing on the resell market, although usually the contents have already been consumed.
5. Bape x Carhartt
Carhartt are a brand deeply rooted within the urban streetwear culture. The brand has been worn for years by hip-hop stars and other major figures. They’re one of those brands that just never go out of fashion. 2006 saw Bape team up with the workwear brand, and they were one of the first to do so. The collaboration featured many different items including parka coats, utility vests, trucker hats and even a set of workwear styled dungarees. All of the items were dual branded, featuring Bape’s signature first camo pattern and Carhartt’s iconic yellow tag. These items are all still extremely desirable amongst streetwear collectors and demand high prices on the resell market. Certain colourways are more desirable than others, so if you’re lucky you may be able to find yourself a deal.
4. Bape x Kanye West
Way before the days of Adidas Yeezy Boosts and even before the original Nike Yeezy’s, Kanye teamed up with the Bape team to create his very own “College Dropout” Bapesta. Back in the day, Mr. West was frequently seen in head to toe Bape camo, sporting bright colours such as orange and pink. These Bapesta’s followed the same bright and bold theme, featuring the iconic bear head logo that Kanye made famous. These sneakers are still highly desirable amongst both Bape and Yeezy collectors, and they certainly don’t come cheap either. You’re definitely looking at over £1000 for a pair of these beauties.
3. Bape x KAWS
KAWS is one of the most renowned street artists of all time and he has also played an enormous role in the streetwear world. He’s widely recognised for his work with Nike, including the recent Air Jordan IV and also for his projects with Supreme. But in 2011, the artist joined forces with Bape to release an entire capsule collection. As well as a whole line of apparel, KAWS turned Bape’s famous Baby Milo into miniature toys in his signature style. The whole collection is pretty highly desirable, but pieces do pop up fairly often. Prices aren’t too crazy, but they certainly aren’t cheap either, so just keep your eye out for steals that pop up occasionally.
2. Bape x Adidas
Sneaker releases these days are often extremely hyped, however the recent Bape x Adidas NMD launch took it to new levels, with hundreds of people queuing all around the world to try and get their hands on the said NMD, decked out in first camo. The sneaker released in 2016 when the hype surrounding the Adidas NMD in general was at it’s peak. The sneakers were simply a standard NMD R1, but instead of a normal colourway, the entirety of the upper was Bape camouflage. The look was finished off with khaki and black detailing. If you’re after a pair of these now, you certainly won’t find them cheap. They pop up often due to the release being fairly recent, however you should also be aware that there are many fakes of this sneaker circulating the market.
1. Bape x Supreme
Without a doubt, this is probably the biggest collaboration to ever launch in streetwear history. Supreme and Bape are the top two in the game. In 2002, the brands decided to join forces and work together – the blank canvas being Supreme’s iconic box-logo T-shirt. Many legendary patterns and monograms have adorned the box logo over the years, but the Bape First Camo box-logo has to be one of the best. Multiple colourways were released, including grey, blue, pink and even orange. These T-shirts still hold grail status amongst many streetwear collectors, and if you can complete the mammoth task of finding one in good condition, it’s going to set you back a pretty penny.
On That Note
As you can tell by this list, Bape have had some amazing opportunities to collaborate with some awesome brands and companies over the years. The list is extensive, and we could write about hundreds more if we were that way inclined. Bape as a brand isn’t quite as highly desirable as it once was, especially since the departure of Nigo, however it’s still up there with the streetwear heavyweights, and older pieces can be worth a small fortune. If you’re interested in getting your hands on some, we’d advise heading to reputable resell sites, or trading via dedicated Facebook groups. We wish you the best of luck on your search, and hope this list has taught you a thing or two.