Japanese lifestyle brand A Bathing Ape or simply BAPE — for short — conquered hip-hop fashion in the early 2000s. Artists like Pharrell and Clipse were some of the first major artists to champion the brand in the U.S. Although, Pusha T definitely wanted to give credit to the Beastie Boys as the very first rappers to rock BAPE in the States.
“To me, it’s very personal. You have to think about it, man,” Pusha tells VIBE at BAPE NY’s 10 year anniversary party. “I just started getting boxes of clothes at my house in 2002 because Nigo was a fan of a record called “Grindin.” Some kids he didn’t know from Virgina making 100% dopeboy music — he just liked it. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me.”
Pusha says BAPE founder Nigo reached out to Jacob The Jeweler to get connected with the VA duo. Jacob, who already had a relationship with Pharrell made sure they got connected fast. It wasn’t long before Pusha and his brother Malice were draped in the foreign gear.
“They introduced me to Japanese culture,” says Pusha. “I didn’t know anything about this. There’s not too many people that I feel indebted to for something.”
He credits the brand for giving him the motivation and inspiration to start his own clothing line, Play Cloths. Along with his older brother, P’s own fashion house launched in 2008 and has remained as a successful name in the streetwear world.
“I look at BAPE as a family. They’ve been so influential in streetwear culture. I’m talking about my Play Cloths line to Billionaire Boys Club — the only reason I probably did a streetwear line was because of BAPE.”
Stay tuned for more from Pusha’s interview with VIBE.com