A week after news broke of the do-or-die sale of A Bathing Ape, Nigo is still in the news. Industry publication WWD ran the first post-sale interview with Tomoaki Nagao, aka Nigo, and this week also brought a preview of the Spring Summer 2011 lineup from the grown up sub-label Mr. Bathing Ape. And as Nigo says in the WWD interview, he is focusing on other projects, so fittingly this week brought a new drop from the Billionaire Boys Club 2011 collection. Another big name in Asian fashion who has been much in the news lately, Edison Chen, also deserved a bit more coverage this week with the release of two AF1′s he created at 21 Mercer. Hiroki Nakamura has less star power than Nigo or EDC, but is a much-respected designer and textile savant – and his label, Visvim has been turning heads, as usual, with the steady release of Spring/Summer 2011 product. This week Freshness focused on his project with Honeyee, and several of the footwear models Visvim is releasing for the upcoming season. Slightly more high fashion, Junya Watanabe got some attention this week for the release of the COMME des GARçONS MAN Spring 2011 collection, which included a beautiful brogue, done in partnership with Trickers. There were also a few news items regarding Original Fake this week, as the label released some new products for the coming season. And among the overwhelming number of Spring/Summer collections, one standout from our coverage was from the Errolson Hugh-designed Stone Island Shadow Project, which reflects Hugh’s expertise in meshing the highly technical with the highly fashionable. Nike, of course, deserves a mention for the release of the Eric Koston signature shoe, which seems poised to be a hit. Also in footwear, a cornerstone of streetwear retail in the UK, end clothing, produced a feature on the Flimby factory, the hallowed New Balance production center in Flimby, England, which included a sneaker giveaway. And finally, Freshness is running a giveaway too – two jackets produced by Puma along with artist Kehinde Wiley. Read on after the jump for a recap of the top streetwear stories this week.
Post Sale Interview with NIGO
The dust is still settling from the bombshell story on the sale of Nowhere Co., but the WWD interview with Bape founder Tomoaki Nagao showed a man focusing on the future. Nigo came across as “upbeat,” according to WWD, but he also struck a self-effacing tone, saying “basically, I can’t do business. I’m not suited for it. I wish I had had a partner on the business side from the beginning.” The intro to the article also highlights some of the trappings of Nigo’s larger-than-life personal style, and it will be interesting to see how the man behind the scenes re-invents himself in the post-Bape era. There will be much discussion about the direction of Bape as a company, but the WWD piece gets at the equally interesting question of what direction Nigo takes. He makes a non-verbal statement by appearing.
Mr. Bathing Ape Spring/Summer 2011 Collection | Preview
If Nigo seems destined to be stuck in meetings with I.T. Limited to hash out the sale terms or new business model, he at least has a go-to wardrobe in the Mr. Bathing Ape line. The spinoff collection, a project done with retailer United Arrows, revolves around formalwear pieces, including honest to goodness suits, which serve as a statement pieces for the collection. This week brought a preview of the Spring/Summer 2011 collection, which includes shirting, suiting, and ties, along with a cable knit sweater and a bowler hat. The collection is now available at select United Arrows stores (although United Arrows is probably giving serious thought to how much sense the BAPE project makes now.)
Billionaire Boys Club February 2011 | New Releases
Billionaire Boys Club February 2011 | Delivery 2
A man in Nigo’s position needs to keep moving, and focus on opportunities to get back to what he does best: building clothing brands into lifestyle statements, and creating sought-after clothing. A perfect exampe: Billionaire Boys Club, Nigo’s project with Pharrell Williams, which has steadily been releasing pieces from the Spring Summer 2011 collection. BBC is a project that both plays it relatively safe with the basic pieces, but also constantly pushes boundaries and reinvents itself – remember the Shooting Cape, and the Digi Camo Hood? The upcoming season is no different; there are plenty logo pieces for the streetwear set, but the brand proves it’s maturity and creativity through the more evolved pieces. Standouts from the recent previews of Spring include the Blastivo coat, a sport coat with an dark indigo denim body and Native-pattern sleeves, and a heavily-distressed buckle-back denim jacket. The collection also includes a down vest with toggle fasteners, which is suspiciously similar to the Garbstore x Penfield 1930′s Life Preserver vest – but a bit of borrowing in fashion is fine.
Edison Chen Bespoke Air Force 1s
Edison Chen put his stamp on a Destroyer Jacket last month, but this past week we saw that he gave his considerable creative attention to a set of Air Force Ones, at 21 Mercer. EDC created two versions, both tied together by a unique cork-inspired leather. One version uses cork leather for the Swoosh, and gets wild with a variety of denims and textured synthetic materials, plus a zebra-stripe horsehair tongue. The other uses the cork leather throughout, and is set off by a classic gum rubber sole. Both are examples of how interesting things can get when very creative people are given the carte blanche at 21 Mercer, and definitely an inspiration for those aspiring to visit Nike’s customization lab.
honeyee x visvim Capsule Collection
Among the many things Hiroki Nakamura is known for, chief among them is his deep love and knowledge of textiles, fabrics, materials, and dyes. For a project being released exclusively by Honeyee, Hiroki is taking inspiration from an ancient cultural tradion – specifically the carpets which have been woven for centuries by the Tekke tribes in Afghanistan. The visvim products used are the Skagway Canvas Hi and a Homer Canvas Tote, both of which are rendered in a beautifully woven burgundy, white, gold, and brown carpet pattern. As seen in recent visvim lookbooks, the Hiroki is heavily influence by native patterns – a trend that is at risk for becoming it’s own worst enemy. But as usual, visvim can do no wrong, and these pieces are sure to be as sought after as anything the label produces. Both of these items are available exclusively at the honeyee online store through a ballot system. Orders can be placed until February, 14th, after which the “winners” will be notified.
visvim Spring/Summer 2011 Footwear Collection | Preview
In addition to the Honeyee capsule, visvim also released a preview of what is on the horizon for it’s mainline footwear in Spring 2011. Three styles were highlighted this week: the Gris Moc Mid-Folk, Flynt Lo Suede and the Flynt Lo Canvas, each available in four colorways. The Gris Moc Mid is the most instantly recognizable as Visvim, while the Flynt Lo is a more casual boat shoe silhouette, ready for a warmer season. As usual, there is a fanatical devotion to quality in construction and materials. The shoes will be available at UNFTD in Harajuku soon.