A Bathing Ape turned into a speedy beast in Tokyo on Friday when the Japanese streetwear brand revealed its latest crossover collaboration with Formula One. It has put the BAPE logo on a racing car and displayed it in the luxury shopping complex of Omotesando Hills. A more extensive product collaboration is in the pipeline.
While fashion brands have inked partnerships with Formula One teams in the past, with tie-ups including Tommy Hilfiger and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Hugo Boss with Mercedes and McLaren, and Michael Kors with McLaren-Honda, this is the first time that Formula One, as an entity, has worked with a fashion house.
“We are about to celebrate our 30th anniversary celebrations for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, and our celebration of the 1,000th Grand Prix next season in China,” said Tanya Wilkinson, head of marketing partnerships at Formula One. “We want to come together to have a big celebration with two brands with their own heritage to create the first of its kind in terms of an F1 brand collaboration.”
Known for its Shark hoodie and camouflage prints, BAPE had hinted at a product collaboration in the works for 2019.
“With both BAPE and F1 being global brands with presence in many territories including China and Japan, there are many possibilities to build on the partnership in the future,” said Billy Choi, managing director of BAPE.
Founded in 1993 by Tomoaki Nagao, better known by his stage name as Nigo, BAPE is now owned by the Hong Kong firm, I.T Group, the China partner for companies including No. 21, Off-White and Galeries Lafayette.