More Bape Stores?

Bape Store Shibuya

When I heard about the newish Bape store in Shibuya, I thought to myself, if Nigo is really lusting after a broad mass market, Shibuya is a logical choice. The gigantic new Bape store behind Omotesando Hills, however, is a total mystery. I guess this is for the shoppers who can’t walk five minutes down to Busy Work Shop Harajuku or five minutes up to Bapexclusive in Aoyama. The store itself looked “neat” when I passed by it last week, but seeing that Bapexclusive always seems to be completely empty on weekdays, I can’t imagine consumer demand really warranted a bigger and badder retail space. More evidence that the entire Japanese fashion business is just a real estate game?

W. David MARX
January 21, 2008

11 Responses

  1. Aceface Says:

    I always walk by the big BAPE shop that stand next to Cinema Rise in Spain-Zaka.The Chinese couple were taking pictures in front of the shop today.

    I was thinking. Ralph Lauren use to have shop in PARCO2 and that big Japan flag ship shop in Omotesando.Same with UNITED ARROWS.

    BAPE is now in the big league. I don’t surprise to hear that NIGO now opens two shops with in 2KM perimeter of the most important fashion district in the country.

  2. W. David MARX Says:

    But to be in the big league, you usually have a steady base of customers and a general presence in the media world. Bape has to basically buy themselves all Japanese media now, since Men’s Nonno would never put them in there.

    United Arrows and Ralph Lauren are not perfect comparisons since you can buy a single neutral item from both of those brands and not look like you are the biggest UA fan in the world. I only see Bape on people now when they are head to toe Bape. You can’t just wear a “Bape turtleneck” with otherwise non-Bape-y clothes.

    So Bape’s got the infrastructure of a huge UA-style market-listed company, but I don’t see the sales to really justify it.

  3. onetshirt Says:

    would that mean bape is the only brand opening major stores despite flat or shrinking sales? sounds hard to believe with the price of realestate in that area. and how sarcastic are you being when you say people can’t wear just one bape item? hmmmm

  4. W. David MARX Says:

    “would that mean bape is the only brand opening major stores despite flat or shrinking sales?”

    As far as I know, Bape is not owned by a giant multinational with unlimited capital resources. For a small indie brand, these stores must come at quite a cost. Especially seeing how well-imagined they are.

    “and how sarcastic are you being when you say people can’t wear just one bape item? ”

    I think my point is that Bape is a neutral brand that normal people pick up a single item from. You are either a Bape maniac or aren’t. I think that’s been true for the last 10 years at least.

  5. alin Says:

    maniac:

    while rounding off the corners you might have a point people do still mix bape stuff and always have. what comes across more strongly is that you seem to be something of a bape (academic) maniac. it’s the only brand that has received consistent, thorough analysis on these pages. physician heal thyself.

  6. alin Says:

    btw. great design here. the W on B feels really cool and fresh. nice space

  7. W. David MARX Says:

    Thanks for the commments on the design.

    do still mix bape stuff and always have.

    I don’t get the sense that people are mixing Ape with Dior Homme. I also wouldn’t have ever said that Ape wasn’t mixable except for when I see Bape these days, it’s like, wow that’s a lot of Ape on one person!

    I was a Bape academic. I do follow up on the brand. But at the same time, Abahouse or whatever just doesn’t have the same “story” that Bape does.

  8. alin Says:

    >I was a Bape academic.

    that should be a song to complement momus’ ‘i was a maoist intelectual’

  9. Aceface Says:

    “I only see Bape on people now when they are head to toe Bape. You can’t just wear a “Bape turtleneck” with otherwise non-Bape-y clothes.”

    Disproof 1)
    http://www.ntv.co.jp/24h/contents/tshirt.html

    Disproof 2)
    That Bape shop in Spain-Zaka is within 30 seconds walking perimeter of GAP and UNIQLO.

    Disproof 3)
    I had this expat blogger and his wife coming to my apartment in the new year holidays.(BTW,you too were invited in the occasion,but you never returned e-mails,David)
    Now he isn’t exactly a “fashion hack”type,but nonetheless he was wearing this Michael J.Foxesque stadium jumper with big Babe Monkey on it.
    Rather unusual combination I thought(not because it was he who wears it,mind you,but all American highschool jock outfit meets Bape logo)and I asked him where he got it.
    The answer was some street market in Bangkok.

  10. onetshirt Says:

    i agree about the look of this blog. simple and more street. white on black is sashiburi. neojaponisme look was interesting but way overthopught. dont like his bag patterns either

  11. W. David MARX Says:

    “neojaponisme look was interesting but way overthopught.”

    I think if there is a visual analog to my general take on cultural analysis, it’s surely “overthought.”