Founded in the mid-1990s and now a leading force in global fashion, *A Bathing Ape(R)--or simply Bape--redefined the height of urban cool for a new generation of Tokyo hipsters. The creation of a young, enigmatic designer simply known as Nigo, Bape has rapidly become one of the most exclusive and sought-after youth brands in Europe and America. With a core product line of limited-edition hip-hop apparel distinguished from its mass-produced competitors by superior manufacture and detailing, the franchise has since expanded to include everything from edgy updates of the classic Chanel suit to an entire catalog of patent-leather sneakers, a full line of women's accessories, collectible vinyl toys, fragrances and its own tres-cool indie record label. Spawning collaborations with Pepsi, adidas, M.A.C. Cosmetics and SONY, *A Bathing Ape(R) is at once a worldwide fashion phenomenon and a leading barometer of the inexorable rise of Japanese pop culture in America.*A Bathing Ape(R) has famously cultivated a die-hard following among hip-hop royalty, and is the clothier to multiple Grammy-winning artists such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, the Beastie Boys, Nas, MosDef, Usher and Pharrell Williams; and J-POP stars Puffy AmiYumi. Employing an unparalleled mix of swagger and elegance, populism and cultish exclusivity, Bape's commitment to the new, and a dizzying capacity for reinvention has ensured its unique place in contemporary fashion.