Portfolio magazine did a feature on Nigo, the ultra-rich creator of A Bathing Ape clothing brand. I blog for Portfolio.com once in awhile, and I was surprised to find that they would cover Nigo. The magazine tends to be a little “bougie” but apparently someone there thought this was important enough to give it a lot of space in the magazine.
Nigo, whose real name is Tomoaki Nagao, is at a crossroads in his career. He can either be a sellout and make Bape a much more international brand by opening more stores and pursuing other lucrative projects (Bape cologne? Bape sports drink? Bape condoms maybe?) or he could make the line more exclusive and go back to his Japanese underground roots.
The secret to Nigo’s success is that he fights to keep Bape fresh “as in raw-fish-in-a-refrigerated-case fresh. The clothes and footwear are intended to be seen as perishable; rare; manufactured that morning, perhaps; and presented for you in a sushi-bar-style display.”