News has been circulating all afternoon about Hong Kong’s fashion group I.T's bid to snatch up NOWHERE Corp., parent company to streetwear giant A Bathing Ape. Reportedly, I.T. dropped a cool $2.8 million dollars for a whopping 90% of the company. To make the transition smooth, creative director, Nigo would keep his position for the next two years. No doubt, this will bring some changes to the brand. Now for some tidbits, wild conjecture, and confidential scoops from the inside...
• Look for potential oversaturation; finding BAPE in department stores (Hong Kong's Lane Crawford already carries a grip of limited-edition but no BAPE yet!)—which is a good thing from a wholesale outlook but more than likely a shift in market positioning.
• The retail division at Korean company LG, tried to buy BAPE years ago and failed.
• I.T. is actually knowledgeable and has successfully expanded brands in the past (i.e. they own a stake in Comme des Garcons' and guided the coup in toiletries etc.).
• China is a colossal emerging market with tremendous buying power. I.T may expand in Hong Kong, Taipei, and Beijing first, where the younger market is more affluent and willing to drop a hundo on a T-shirt.
• And no, the acquisition would not affect BBC.
All tolled, who knows if Nigo made the right move. It's no secret that BAPE is in some sort of financial situation. Nigo can now wake up and not worry about that monkey on his back (too soon?). All we know is that his honeyee blog contains this. A cryptic-ass message (um, as in we don't read Japanese) about the "Beginning of the End." The company released a message with the words "implementation of stringent cost controls" which just sounds terribly un-fun but ultimately, we just have to wait and see. Though we may just agree with Jeff Staple.