How BAPE Hoodies Became a Status Symbol in Streetwear Culture

In the world of streetwear fashion, few items hold as much cultural significance as the BAPE hoodie. This iconic garment, which features the brand’s distinctive ape head logo, has become a status symbol for fashion-forward individuals around the world. But how did the BAPE hoodie become such a highly sought-after item? In this article, we’ll explore the history and evolution of the BAPE hoodies and how it has become a symbol of status in streetwear culture.

A Bathing Ape, also known as BAPE, is a Japanese streetwear brand that was founded in 1993 by Nigo. The brand’s early designs were heavily influenced by American hip-hop culture and quickly gained popularity in Japan. One of the brand’s most iconic designs was the BAPE hoodie, which features a large ape head logo on the front of the garment.

In the early days of the brand, the BAPE hoodie was relatively affordable and accessible. However, as the brand gained more popularity, the hoodies became harder to come by and their prices began to rise. This scarcity, combined with the unique design and association with hip-hop culture, helped to establish the BAPE hoodie as a highly coveted item.

  1. Camo Patterns: The camo pattern has been a signature design element of the BAPE hoodie since its inception. Over the years, the brand has released many different variations of the camo pattern, including traditional woodland camo, urban camo, and even glow-in-the-dark camo.
  2. Ape Logos: The BAPE ape logo has also been a consistent design element of the hoodie, although it has undergone some changes over the years. Some versions of the hoodie feature the ape logo prominently on the front, while others incorporate the logo into other design elements.
  3. Colorways: BAPE hoodies are known for their bold and vibrant colorways, with many designs incorporating bright hues and eye-catching patterns.

Collaborations That Influenced BAPE Hoodie Design One of the things that have made BAPE such an iconic brand is its many collaborations with other brands and artists. The BAPE hoodie has been at the center of many of these collaborations, and the resulting designs have helped to shape the evolution of the hoodie. Some notable collaborations include:

  1. Collaborative Elements: Finally, many BAPE hoodies feature collaborative design elements, such as the logos of other brands or artists, that help to distinguish them from other hoodies on the market.
  2. Pharrell Williams: BAPE has collaborated with Pharrell Williams on several occasions, including a series of  hoodies that featured the artist’s signature “Human Race” logo.
  3. Stüssy: BAPE has collaborated with Stüssy on several occasions, including a collection of BAPE hoodies that featured the Stüssy logo alongside the BAPE ape logo.
  4. KAWS: BAPE has also collaborated with the artist KAWS on several occasions, including a series of BAPE hoodies that featured the artist’s signature “XX” design.


Hip-Hop and the BAPE Hoodie

One of the key factors that contributed to the popularity of the BAPE hoodie was its association with hip-hop culture. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, BAPE gained a significant following among hip-hop artists and fans, who embraced the brand’s bold designs and unique aesthetic.

Artists like Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne were early adopters of the BAPE hoodie and helped to popularize the garment among their fans. As the BAPE hoodie became more closely associated with hip-hop culture, it also became a symbol of status and influence within the music community.

Limited Edition Drops and Collaborations

Another factor that has contributed to the status of the BAPE hoodie is the brand’s use of limited edition drops and collaborations.

These limited edition drops create a sense of exclusivity and rarity around the BAPE hoodie, making it even more desirable among collectors and fashion enthusiasts. Some of the most sought-after BAPE hoodie collaborations include partnerships with streetwear brands like Supreme and Neighborhood, as well as collaborations with artists like Kid Cudi and Travis Scott.

Celebrity Endorsements

In addition to its association with hip-hop culture, the BAPE hoodie has also gained popularity through celebrity endorsements.

These celebrity endorsements help to keep the BAPE hoodie in the public eye and contribute to its status as a symbol of status and influence.

The Resale Market

Finally, it’s worth noting that the BAPE hoodie has also become a popular item on the resale market. Because of their limited availability and high demand, BAPE hoodies can often sell for significantly more than their original retail price.