Silly Bape Thing – Back to the Future?

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Silly Bape Thing, the collaboration between Japan’s A Bathing Ape and Hong Kong’s Silly Thing, celebrated the launch of their new clothing line last Friday night. The joint venture seeks to channel the early mystique of A Bathing Ape by updating and re-releasing several of their classic pieces.

To mark the occasion, the two label founders, Nigo (Bape,) and TK (Silly Thing,) presided over a packed party on the Hong Kong waterfront.

The well-attended event featured d.j. sets by Kan Takagi and Nigo himself.

Silly Bape Thing isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together on a notable project.

Back in 2008, TK and Nigo collaborated on the World Wide Bape Heads concert featuring Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and the Teriyaki Boyz. You can read our coverage of that event here and here.

Looking for growth, eyeing China

Both companies, Silly Thing and A Bathing Ape, are looking to expand beyond their original domestic markets. The two are taking steps towards Mainland China and doing their part to help one another.

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A Bathing Ape, founded in 1993 by Nigo, is looking to remain relevant in a finicky market that now moves at an extremely fast pace. Taking a cue from European luxury brands, Bathing Ape is opening their first store in Shanghai next month. The potential for expanding the reach of the Bathing Ape brand rests with China’s blossoming youth market.

Rekindling the excitement that the brand had in 90’s Tokyo will not be easy. However, a partnership with Silly Thing, with its extensive media arm may prove both beneficial and a good fit.

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Silly Thing is a conglomerate that includes several magazines, notably Milk, which is distributed in Hong Kong, and now has a China edition. Silly Thing aims to introduce their brand of fashion and streetwear culture to China’s young consumers. According to the Silly Bape Thing website, Nigo will also be writing a column for China’s Milk magazine.

The party

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The Silly Bape Thing launch event took place in a multi-tiered restaurant called The Quarterdeck, located in the Fleet Arcade building in Wanchai. It’s one of the few restaurants directly on the harbor. The location is good for events for a number of reasons. It’s not only centrally located for lazy Hong Kong partygoers, but it’s convenient for smokers, has a decent-sized indoor area, and is in a remote spot that won’t get noise complaints.

Here’s a video of Bathing Ape founder Nigo d.j.ing, with famous Japanese M.C. Takagi Kan rapping along in the background. (Watch it in HD for better quality!)


The Fleet Arcade

On a side note, the location of the party, the Quarterdeck restaurant, was once home to Hong Kong’s coolest McDonald’s! (It was on the waterfront and it served beer!)

The Fleet Arcade is a quasi-military complex that has a small number of shops and provides a low key drop-off point for American military personnel arriving in Hong Kong by boat. One secret is that one of the shops sells hard-to-find American magazines (niche things like Thrasher and Transworld Skateboarding,) at U.S. cover prices.

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