The Japanese designer has sealed a deal with Nike to launch their first collection, due out in 2024.
The affairs between Nigo and Nike have kept us on our toes for several months.
Remember, just a few months ago and more precisely in January 2023, the sportswear giant dragged the famous Japanese designer to court for allegedly plagiarizing some of his most iconic silhouettes, including the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1.
Who is Nigo?
Considered one of the pioneers of Japanese streetwear, Nigo founded his label, ‘A Bathing Ape in Lukewarm Water’ – better known as BAPE, in 1993 in Shibuya – Tokyo. From a small production of T-Shirts he personally printed in his ‘Nowhere’ store in Ura-Harajuku, in the company of his friends and associates Jun Takahashi and Hiroshi Fujiwara
He launched his first Sneakers, the Bapesta, in 2000. Soon the Bapesta, as well as the BAPE items, became cult products.
But it was the Bapesta Sneakers, which over the years became highly sought after, that sparked controversy with the global brand Nike as it was considered too similar to the Air Force 1 model.
Back in 2009, Nike dragged Nigo to court and got BAPE products embargoed in the States (which, of course, increased their desirability).
In January 2023, Nike demanded a worldwide ban on the sale of the Sneakers and, in addition, unspecified monetary compensation. Since the first lawsuit in 2009, however, Nigo stepped down as CEO and in 2011, sold his brand to Hong Kong-based fashion multinational I.T., which managed to raise the brand from the depths of bankruptcy, buying 90 per cent of the shares. In 2013, 20 years after the birth of BAPE, Nigo left the brand for good, even as a consultant.
The issue with Nike concerned him, albeit partially: now he would not be the one to answer for the brand.
At that point, the Sneakers Culture community wondered how the issue would end, then came the news that no one expected: Nike and Nigo will collaborate on a product line to be released next year.
What do we know about this collaboration?
Although the news is not yet official, remembering that it was reported by Complex’s Brendan Dunne for the time being, some insiders have stated that Nigo has already signed with Nike for some trainer silhouettes and the first apparel collection, which will not be released until 2024.
Confirming this news was a photo taken of Nigo, dating back to last week, while wearing Nike Go FlyEase (see VERDY‘s post).
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What other surprises will the affair between Nike and Nigo have in store for us?
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