In 2011, Nigo relinquished 90 percent of his share in A Bathing Ape, but still hung on as creative director of the streetwear brand. But now, Nigo has announced that he has left BAPE for good. In a Facebook post, the designer stated: "As of 30 April 2013 the terms of my contract with I.T Limited (the new owners of A Bathing Ape® since January 2011) as Creative Director has concluded."
It's odd that he would announce his departure almost a month after it had happened, but so is the mysterious nature behind Nigo. He would go on to conclude: "This brings to a close my 20 years of work creating and designing A Bathing Ape®. From now on I will continue to work as a freelance creator in many different fields. I thank you in anticipation of your continued support. May 2013 NIGO®"
It's not for certain, but it would appear that the 20th anniversary series T-shirt would have been Nigo's final work with the brand he had turned into a recognizable symbol of street culture. But maybe it was time. Nigo is now designing his latest brand, Human Made, and has completely changed his aesthetic from flashy all-over prints, garish jewelry, and frankly, as a cornerstone for international hip-hop culture. So grab your full-zip Shark hoodie, throw on Kanye's legendary verse with the Teriyaki Boyz, and pour out a little limited-edition Coca-Cola, Nigo's era is done.