Bape x Mastermind Japan Release and Collection Reflections
This past week concluded the global release of the A Bathing Ape (Bape) x Mastermind Japan F/W 2011 mini collection. If you're tuned into the hyped world of Japanese streetwear you've probably already read several generic news articles on the release which generated more popularity and desire for Bape products than the brand has seen since 2006.
The range of t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and accessories was plastered with skulls, ape heads and special Bape camo with Mastermind motifs worked in. Prices were nothing short of ridiculous. If you were lucky enough to be in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London or Los Angeles with a lot of time to kill, you might have even gotten a crack at buying something at retail price... for the rest of us, there's the bargain 3-4x retail price offered by resllers. That's reasonable right?
The collection itself was dual branded but there were separate lines of items produced by Mastermind Japan and Bape. The Mastermind Japan made cowichan sweater topped $3000 (see below) while the most expensive item produced by Bape, a brown leather down jacket, was in the mid $2000 range.
This is one of the few collaborations that Bape hasn't done previously and for enthusiasts of really high end streetwear this is a holy grail type of collection. Realistically though, when an already overpriced $350 (retail price) hooded sweatshirt cannot be found for under $1000, something isn't right. No amount of perceived quality or limited production can justify a $3000 sweater, especially when the most expensive brands around the world (even Hermes or Louis Vuitton) charge a fraction of that for a cashmere sweater of greater quality.
If you're OK with the prices than the question to ask is: is the collection timeless? If you're forced to shell out that much money to resellers, you want items that you can wear over and over again. But really, these aren't that. Cool, yes. Amazing? Not exactly.
Are you a streetwear head that bought something from the collection? Was it worth the price? Let us know in the comments.