Ever since 2009 (closing of the LA store) there has been a slight buzz about the demise of BAPE…..now that may not be true BUT Nigo has sold 90% of the company for a tiny fee of approximately $3mil. This is a very small price for such a large and established brand which leads on the the question why? The main belief is bad management. The brand is still selling however the amount of debt (nearly 3 billion yen!) is causing the brand to crumble.
China’s main fashion distribution company i.t have purchased the brand promising to keep the exclusivity and image of the brand intact as well as pay off all debts. Nigo will stay on board for 2 years until the change over has smoothly ended. Lets hope this isn’t the beginning of the end of BAPE and its limited edition runs. As a pioneer of small runs of exclusive designs, losing BAPE to corporate suits really would be a loss to street fashion.