Bape is made in China and Japan, with some pieces in Vietnam. Still, China takes a giant bite. Let’s uncover why such an expensive streetwear brand is predominantly manufactured in China.
Bape is not just limited to their classic shark head hoodies and tees; with a diversified range including caps, wallets, bags, pants, shoes, and watches, the company offers a packed solution for a professional streetwear lookbook.
And, we all know that bape products come with an expensive price tag. So let’s see where bape products are made to justify the money we pay per piece.
A Short History Of Bape To Know Their Origin
We believe a brand’s distinctive touch is influenced by its root culture and where it originated because people love that uniqueness. Similarly, Bape gets famous because of Tomoaki Nagao, AKA Nigo. In 1993 Nigo founded the bape or Bathing Ape in Ura-Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan.
So, yes, in essence, Bape is a Japanese brand later acquired by the Hong Kong congestive fashion group I.T. for about $2.8 million in 2011. After selling the company, Nigo served the brand for a while but left it in 2013 to pursue his future.
With I.T group, the brand not only has 19 stores in Japan selling Bape streetwear and lifestyle to men, women, and children, but some of their stores are in other activities too like the ‘Kyoto store’ also showcases various events and art shows sponsored by Bape.
Their success as streetwear does not end just here as they have stores in over 18 well-known places internationally. The brand is rising and collabs with brands like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Stussy, Carhartt, Supreme, Timberland, and known artists like Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd, Big Sean, etc. Moreover, the Bathing Ape has worked with Disney.
We know that Bape was founded in Tokyo, Japan but acquired by a big fashion conglomerate in Hong Kong. Still, Bape is a Japanese brand as the headquarters are still in Tokyo, but I.T. is taking all manufacturing decisions.
Let’s See Where Are Bape Products Manufactured?
Predominantly, Bathing Ape (Bape) products are made in China and Japan, with some fraction items like caps made in Vietnam. There may be other countries where Bape is manufacturing, but China takes the big pie, followed by Japan.
However, according to some sources, Bape is in the direction of making more of its products in Japan to reflect its birthplace and inspiration; this may be due to the recent COVID-19 that the government of Japan is encouraging all of their companies in japan to move to manufacture back to home, maybe due this the people who have bought the same bape tee/hoodie years ago have the made in china tag, but the same style is now coming with made in Japan tag.
That’s not where the story ends because a guest in the bapetalk.com forum claims to have an inside source in Bape who tells him that about 40% of work is done in china and the rest 60% completed in japan; for reference, the Bape garments are made in china, but then they shift them to japan for design and printing; this is how they worked out to get a “Made in Japan” tag while a good chunk of the manufacturing process is done in China.
Interestingly, many people in groups and forums discuss how they always buy a Chinese bape garment, so they demand proof of Japanese-made bape. That’s why here is a pic from Miqdam TV, which has “Made in Japan” written in big letters.
If one picture is not enough, here’s another one for the Foil big head Ape tee. See where the red arrow points; you can notice it is an original bape t-shirt made in Japan.
Now, I can offer some pics of “made in china” bape tags, but I think that’s just fluff because there are so many you won’t even struggle finding one yourself [maybe you already have one :)]
To make your research process more accessible and for extra peace of mind, some bape products are categorized according to where they are made. It’s easy to research as bape has disclosed manufacturing locations for many product lineups on bape.com. So this list is just a random use of my time; I can say there may be more from japan, china, and even Vietnam.
Read Also: How Do Bape hoodies Fit?
Bape Products Made in Japan:
- 1st camo bape STA Mesh Cap
- ABC camo sweatpants
- Porter 1st camo long wallet
- ABC camo mask
- STA Camo Tie
- Multi-label 1st camo oversized hoodie
- A Bathing Ape line of long socks
- X vogue pouch
- Tie-Dye bucket hat
- Solid camo corduroy panel cap
- Milo pocket fill shorts
- Milo bib
Bape Products Made in China:
- Bape hoop tee
- Hoop one-point tee
- X Hugo sweatpants
- Bape STA #M1 and #M2 shoe
- 1st camp pocket hoodies
- Plush cardholder
- Plush keychains
- Type 1 Bape X watch
- Baby Milo Sleepers
- X suicoke sandals
- Premium bape 2021 happy new year bag
- Busy shark day pack
- Printed top
- Color block oversized pullover hoodie
- 1st camo milo shark tee
- Solid camo mini tote bag
- Skull STA L sneakers
- CNY Road STA M1 sneakers
- Road STA sneakers
- Milo bodysuit
- Milo pen set
- Milo junk food layered romper shorts & leggings
- X new era B.K. 15th anniversary ABC camo nine fifty cap
Bape Products Made in Vietnam
- Men’s bape jet cap
Why Is Bape Not Making Everything In Japan?
The main question arises; why is Bape not interested in making all their products in Japan? Trust me; it’s a very legit question due to how high they charge for a simple product branded with “Bape.” IMO it is their brand value that allows them to capture a casual jacket with a price tag of technical pieces offered by other brands like Carhartt, The North Face, and Patagonia.
The reason is simple; The Bape is owned by the Chinese fashion group I.T, and it is one of the cheapest countries to outsource labor work. In a way, you’re paying 10x more for what it costs from a somewhat disappointing manufacturing perspective.
And, for the money they charge, they would be ultimately profitable even after shifting their manufacturing to japan; though now Bape won’t be able to squeeze as much money as possible.
Read Also: Bape Sweatpants: Ultimate Sizing Guide
Michael is heavily inclined towards traveling to natural places and documenting cultures/people from different parts of the world. He also loves hiking and camping and is spirited toward all outdoor activities. He will share his passion for outdoor life and brands or products we use outside our homes. He has good research skills, and that’s why you can see why his articles are packed with info that is factual and not readily available. He also has the vision to travel the whole world and share it with all readers of Outdoor Favor.