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August 20 2014

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Going Ape At BAPE

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This weekend was a moment that a certain brand of slavish fashion fan was eagerly awaiting: the reopening of London’s Bathing Ape shop. Perhaps too eagerly. The attendant party, thrown by BAPE founder Nigo at 24 Kingly Street, quickly became the scene of a near riot as doormen, security guards, agents, and fans scuffled with each other to get in and keep people out. Those who did get in included co-host Pharrell Williams, a longtime BAPE fan and collaborator, super DJs Mark Ronson and Seb Chew, rapper Dizzee Rascal, and a retinue of London A-listers. Also spotted inside was pop princess and current fashion darling Rihanna, who sported a fierce, don’t-mess-with-me mohawk. Rumor has it that Pharrell and Rihanna are the next sartorial super couple, which might be too much fashion synergy for us to take. But back to BAPE. The scene here proved that it’s still a company that makes male pulses race in the same way Balmain booties do for women. We did finally corner Nigo (though not Williams, who was surrounded by security) to ask him who he thought most embodies the BAPE aesthetic. Kanye? Pharrell? Or perhaps Leonardo DiCaprio, who, amazingly, was unable to get in? “I haven’t really thought about it,” he mused. “I still design for myself and the stuff is fitted on me, so perhaps I should say myself.”

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