BAPE has undeniably beaten Supreme, Stüssy and Palace to at least one job, becoming the first of the world’s biggest, most established legacy streetwear brands to release its Fall/Winter 2024 lookbook.

It’s crazy to see that BAPE is still a staple in the streetwear ecosystem, despite NIGO pulling out of the brand in 2013. Ten years later, BAPE is still a hypebeast who somehow managed to avoid a long-awaited lawsuit from Nike.

Seriously, BAPE’s lawyer needs a raise because how can the brand still release BAPE STA sneakers after settling a case that revolved around the model’s similarity to Nike’s Air Force 1?

BAPE STAs aside, it’d be remiss to view BAPE today as a brand known only for Ape Head tees and those Soulja Boy steppers. Instead, what we’re seeing from BAPE now is something of a reinvention. There have been bright spots along the way — BAPE x Highsnobiety, for one — but lately, BAPE has really started to hit that retro sweet spot it once did.

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And I can’t lie, when I see this BAPE Fall/Winter 2024 lookbook, the voice of YM BAPE from 2013 echoes in my head. “The monkey is here! He’s beating on my chest.”

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Since BAPE celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2023, the brand has begun presenting full seasonal collections with stylized looks, supported by live fashion shows in Shanghai, New York City and Tokyo.

It’s a step that most streetwear brands of the time wouldn’t dare take without a haute couture partner.

So instead of waiting for Kim Jones to come along, BAPE stopped short of building something unique themselves.

While BAPE still produces logo-heavy streetwear, you can’t deny that the brand is clearly trying to produce refined pieces that tastefully play with its most iconic trademarks in ways we’ve never seen before.

BAPE’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection is divided into two themes: ‘Subculture Aesthetic’ and ‘Campus Life’. While that may sound like an original attempt to say that the collection is a mix of ‘streetwear’ and ‘prep’, the looks don’t feel like a clichéd interpretation of those two themes.

BAPE’s latest looks have a sharp edge.

And this is especially evident in the daring products, such as a black spherical leather bag made from a mix of Baby Milos or a knitted university jacket from Cowichan.

But BAPE also has tasteful interpretations of trendy streetwear pieces of the moment, such as double-knee trousers or quilted puffers that reimagine the brand’s iconic 1ST CAMO pattern.

To be honest, I felt like BAPE was already dead, buried much deeper than Supreme since it came under new ownership sans NIGO. But if Stüssy’s relevance in today’s market has taught me anything, it’s that these old streetwear brands can be cool again, even without their visionary founders.

The BAPE just stepped out of the bath and looks fresher than ever.

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