Bape, once one of the kings of streetwear, has teetered at the edge of a flop era this year with its Gillette razors and racist NFTs. Now, the brand is stepping back into what it knows best with an upcoming sneaker collaboration with New Balance.
The two got ahead of the hype on a 2002R silhouette last year and are now reaching for another classic. The Japanese label is bringing its camo to New Balance once again with two brand new iterations of the 57/40 sneaker.
Even more camo — First is a black and gray option that boasts a mesh and suede upper with silver laces and midsoles. The Japanese brand infuses its signature Cloud Camo into the New Balance “N” logo and adds more branding with its ape logo on the tongue and “A Bathing Ape” spelled out on the lateral heel.
The multicolor option follows a similar recipe with a mesh and suede base. Instead of a monochromatic makeover, however, the sneakers are dressed in shades of orange, pink, royal blue, and white — a vibrant palette even by Bape’s standards. New Balance’s main “N” logo is done in a multicolored camouflage and the mismatched tongues feature the same “NB” and ape logo co-branding.
Both of the sneakers see shark tooth graphics wrap around the heel, nodding to another of Bape’s signature motifs. Reflective elements appear on the heel, and each version of the sneaker sits on a chunky, white sole to counterbalance the more noisy elements.
Coming soon — New Balance and Bape’s 57/40 sneaker pack doesn’t have a release date just yet, but it’s definitely coming this year. After shameless cash grabs seen through confusing Coach collabs and Razer gaming merch, Bape just isn’t what it used to be. But maybe linking with everybody’s favorite dad shoe darlings for a second chapter could put the brand back in everyone’s good graces.