Launched in 2012, A Bathing Ape's diffusion line AAPE positioned itself as a fresh, young concept in the tenuous and ever-changing realm of streetwear. With that in mind, it is only fitting the label's first US flagship would land squarely on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles; the bustling thoroughfare has proven to be a mecca for both streetwear brands and young creatives.
"We felt that for street fashion, Fairfax was the best option," a representative of the AAPE team explained. "We have offices in New York, Japan and China but we didn't have anything in LA even though it's a market we're very interested in exploring," she continued.
Nestled between Supreme and Diamond Supply Co., the 2,300 square foot build reflects AAPE's youthful ethos. Heavily influenced by industrial design, the store's metal details and reflective surfaces widen the narrow, tunnel-like layout while flexible tracking lights surreptitiously illuminate the product. Designers also used a new material called 'Alusion' to create the effect of aluminum foil panels inside and outside of the store.
In honor of the opening, AAPE created a limited LA collection inspired by streetwear culture and the singular attitude of the City of Angels. Rather than using BAPE's signature monochromatic palette, the capsule features orange camouflage print. Coupled with bespoke elements like the reimagined Moonface logo and heavily stylized "LA" prints, the capsule is indeed an announcement of AAPE's West Coast presence.
In celebration of the launch, shoppers will receive a limited edition AAPE towel with any purchase (excluding accessories), or a bespoke coffee mug with a purchase of $250 or more. Items are in a small run of 200, so gifting will be on a first come first served basis. AAPE opens to the public Saturday, September 16.
Address: 443 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles