NIGO has sat down with WWD to explain his departure from A Bathing Ape and what the future holds for the Japanese street fashion icon. Start reading the interview below while you can head over to WWD for the entire article.
Why did you choose to leave A Bathing Ape, the very brand you started? When did you make the decision? Nigo:
It was about six months ago that I started to think about what I wanted to do next. I guess it’s just me being selfish. It has been 20 years since I founded the brand, and in another 20 years from now I will be 60. I started fumbling around for some new possibilities. What I really want to make clear is that I didn’t fall out with [I.T chief executive officer] Sham Kar Wai. Sham and I get on as more than business associates and we came to a mutual decision. It was simply that I came to the realization that Bape was no longer just my creation and I didn’t renew the contract that I signed two years ago when I sold the company.
Do you think that without you Bape is going to change even more significantly from now on?
Nigo: There is a hangover caused by my own time managing Bape. That without me the brand wouldn’t exist is something the people who follow in my footsteps will have to overcome. But I think that I.T is confident that it is going to continue to sell without me. Especially in Asia, Bape is Bape. There are people who are fanatical about the logo alone. Maybe it will have an effect in places in the West like New York where I have an identity as Nigo. As for Japan, I wonder? I have a feeling they will just have to push on. If something goes wrong, maybe they will call me back!