Bape, A Bathing Ape, whatever you wanna call it, is a cornerstone of Japanese streetwear. No, Bape is the cornerstone. And the thing about streetwear is that it’s like this big recycling game: if something works, do it again, but tweak it.
It started with Bapestas. They’re just AF1s, aren’t they?! Sorry: tHey’Re jUst aF1s, ArEn’t tHey?! Yes, they’re almost an identical silhouette, but their importance is in the differences (no matter how subtle), as well as the similarities. Bapestas came in patent leather, bringing a clean sheen that AF1s didn’t have and the iconic tick is subbed for the lightning star. The Bapesta was – and still is – celebrated, not for plagiarism, but for meta-referentialism.
Maybe that’s all streetwear nonsense. Who knows. One thing is for certain, though, and that’s that it’s still happening. This Aape Slip On is a riff on the classic Vans slip-on. Like the Bapestas though, it’s tweaked. For starters: the classic waffle grip is subbed in favour of Aape camo print. The rubberised sole is highlighted with subtle – or, in the case of the black pair, not-so-subtle – Aape branding. Remember: it’s paying homage.