Tetsu Nishiyama Talks Origins of WTAPS, Vintage Bikes, and His History With Bape

The Japanese designer has a long history of making cool things.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Courtesy of Moscow-based BELIEF boutique, we get to know a little bit more about WTAPS designer Tetsu Nishiyama. We love finding out how our favorite brands got their names, and in this interview, he drops how WTAPS came about, his love for vintage bikes, and what he exactly does for BAPE. Read the excerpts below:

I wonder how you came to name brand WTAPS and what does it mean?

Before WTAPS there was FPAR (FORTY PERCENTS AGAINST RIGHTS), my original product. FPAR was not only focused on apparel though, but on other creativities as well. At some point I felt like I want to concentrate more on apparel and fashion. So, I called the 2nd brand WTAPS. This is a military term, as you may know, and it means “the second shot always finishes it”. “W” means “twice”. So, WTAPS was my 2nd challenge.

What is the idea behind Ursus Bape?  Is just the “budget” product line? As I gather Ursus Bape is cheaper than say WTAPS. Is it like a special line for young people?

It goes way back to history. I have always been working for A BATHING APE (BAPE).  A lot of people know my story of working for BAPE. However, it is only recently that media picked up Ursus Bape and one may think it is a new band. But it is not. I have always been designing for A Bathing Ape, but now I’m more of a director of Ursus Bape and hence expose myself more publicly as Ursus Bape person. Ursus is just a bigger range now.

In terms of Ursus being cheaper it is just the business side of it in which I am not involved at all. It is the hassle of business development people at Bathing Ape.

You are known for your passion for motorbikes. Could you name a few favorite models?

1952 TRIUMPH TL5 500cc. This is my favorite one for now. Also 1979 Harley Davidson given by Shin, Black “201-205”. I rode it when I was 24-25. I still have it.

Check for the full interview on BELIEF’s website

[beliefmoscow via slamxhype]

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