I was lucky enough to be in New York City for a week and during my visit, I managed to visit the only BAPE Store in America.
Before even entering the store, there was a queue of about 10 people waiting to get inside. I had to queue for about 15 minutes before going inside, but the security guard at the door told me that on some days, particularity when a new collection drops, people would be queuing for up to 4 hours to get inside. While waiting outside, you can see in the window a rotating table of rare and beautiful BAPE Sneakers.
When entering, you walk through an all white corridor, turn right and the first thing you see is:
Two mannequins in all silver, from head to toe, in a space-like jumpsuit with silver sneakers. This is the only thing inside the shop you are allowed to take photos of.
Inside the all white store, on the right hand side is about five rails of clothes. It starts with T Shirts, then shorts, polo shirts, jackets, jumpers, trousers and finally hoodies. Every item of clothing has a BAPE tag, but not one item of clothing is priced. Not one item. To know the price, you must ask an employee. To try on an item of clothing or sneaker, you must tell them your size and they give you a T Shirt or sneaker from the back to try on. You are not allowed to try on the clothes from the rails, or any sneaker from the display window.
On the opposite left hand side are two shelves. On these shelves are suitcases, backpacks, duffle bags and pouches, all completely covered with the amazing BAPE original signature camo. But again, all these items are tagged, but none of them are priced. Further down on the left hand side is then a glass booth. Behind this locked booth are rare BAPE items for sale, such as sunglasses, memorabilia, cuff links, watches and umbrellas. These items are the only items in the store that are actually priced, all starting from around $200 to some sunglasses and watches costing around $900.
At the end of the shop is the one and only till. Behind that till the entire wall is covered in BAPE Camo that leaves you mesmerised. The staff are young, dressed head to toe in BAPE clothes and helpful, friendly and talkative. They told me stories of previous celebrities that have worked at BAPE, such as Big Sean and Kid Cudi, and stories of celebrities they have run into in the store, such as Kanye, Tyga and A$AP Ferg.
Anyone who loves their fashion and streetwear must visit the BAPE Store if they are ever in New York City. The mood of the shop is almost like a fashion museum. Streetwear heaven.