A Bathing Ape’s BAPE STA is an enigma in the world of streetwear. The icon is lauded not for its originality, but the absolute opposite. It embodies the irreverent streetwear mentality, cutting and pasting one of Nike’s most famous designs and, somehow, getting away with it.
Founded in 1993 by NIGO, A Bathing Ape is one of streetwear’s golden children. Birthing some of the culture’s mainstay items like the Shark Zip Hoodie, Baby Milo range, and of course the BAPE STA.
Modeled after the Nike Air Force 1 — borrowing essentially every detail from the flagship sneaker — it’s a wonder that A Bathing Ape has never been sued by The Swoosh, especially considering Nike’s itchy legal trigger finger. Rumor has it, though, that Nike took a stake in NIGO’s company instead of suing him, realizing that the designer’s lifestyle take on the athletic sneaker catered to a gap in the market.
Whatever the reason, we love the fact that the A Bathing Ape BAPE STA is still readily available. To honor one of streetwear’s shining stars, we’ve rounded up the best BAPE STA colorways that you can cop right now.
Call us biased, but we think that this two-tone BAPE STA is one of the best BAPE STA releases in years. It happens to be a Highsnobiety collaboration, too.
Over the past year, we’ve seen the sneaker tastes shift from bold, bright colorways to easygoing neutrals. This Sail pair epitomizes that style.
A combination of leather and suede forms the black upper of this pair which sits atop an off-white midsole. We’re always on board with off-white midsoles, they lend any silhouette retro credentials.
The beauty of the BAPE STA is its versatility. That versatility is emphasized in this neutral pair. Caramel leather combines with a soft cream sole unit for a smooth finish.
While the BAPE STA takes after the Air Force 1, BAPE’s SK8 STA looks more akin to the Nike Dunk.
We couldn’t do a BAPE STA roundup without a bit of camo, could we? This all-white pair features the signature detailing to the laces and Star logo.
Made in collaboration with artist Hajime Sorayama, this BAPE STA takes inspiration from Sorayama’s shining metal robots.
A brown suede upper is highlighted by red borders and a patent leather star logo for an understated yet punchy finish.
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