Kicking off 2011 with some considerable gusto, Japanese cult label A Bathing Ape (BAPE) has launched a string of collaborations and new initiatives to mark the start of the year.

Firstly, the brand’s brought out a footwear collaboration designed in partnership with Dr Martens. The line forms part of BAPE’s Ursus range that is created by the brand’s long-time partner “Tet”, (Creative Director of Japanese brand WTAPS) and is based on Dr. Martens classic Saddle shoe– a style that was ardently sported by the Bobby Soxers of 1950’s America. Encompassing three different colorways, each pair retails at €315 and can be purchased at BAPE’s online store ( and at the brand’s London shop which is located on Upper James Street.

On the retail front, BAPE opened the doors this week to its first ever pop-up pirate store in London. The concept was initially launched in Japan in 2009, and a shop in New York followed in 2010. Signified by heavily branded BAPE pirate store graphics and imagery, as well as a product offer rife with celebratory limited edition merchandise, the London store also serves up special pirate booty bags filled with “secret” goods of a hard-to-find nature. The pop-up pirate store is located on Dray Walk, Truman Brewery, and will be open until Jan. 30 inclusive.

Not stopping there, BAPE’s also introduced a premium tailoring line for s/s 2011, aptly called Mr Bathing Ape. Reflecting BAPE founder Nigo’s love for fine tailoring and his background working at Savile Row for the likes of eminent players such as Huntsman and Anderson & Sheppard, the premier offering consists of the full sartorial repertoire, including suits, shirts and ties.