NIGO’s Influence on Hype Culture Timeline
, 2022-11-23 14:00:39,
There is no greater influence on the culture of hype than that of Japanese designer NIGO. Through A Bathing Ape, his prescient clothing line launched in 1993, NIGO established so much of what would become our contemporary understanding of style. By pioneering collaborations between brands; keeping product runs tight and exclusive so as to create scarcity and foment intrigue; aligning himself with rappers and DJs at a time when luxury companies were still anxious about any association with hip-hop; establishing clear, concise iconography that was instantly recognizable; bringing together the worlds of youth fashion and high-end luxury, he became the blueprint for desire — so much so that none other than Virgil Abloh once said that “there is no one like Nigo. He helped us understand how luxury can relate to a new generation.”
Now, something of a streetwear elder—a Star Wars fanatic, he recently half-jokingly referred to himself as Yoda—Nigo, born Tomoaki Nagao, has moved on to focus on a calmer brand, the unpretentiously-named Human Made, as well as serve as the artistic director of Kenzo, the storied if niche French fashion house. Long gone is the time of BapeSta-mania, when a fresh colorway of his signature sneaker — a Pop Art patent leather take on the shape and feel of the…
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