Nowhere to Superstar
For those who grew up with Livestock, the word NIGO is synonymous with streetwear and sneaker culture as we know it. At 49 years old, the Japanese design icon has now spent more than half of his life catalyzing the evolution of fashion, footwear and collectibles as a means for self-expression; and in the process, NIGO has redefined art for an entire generation of his peers.
The foundation is laid in 1993 Tokyo, where NIGO opened a small T-shirt store in partnership with Undercover’s now-revered Jun Takahashi – who would go on to work with the likes of Medicom Toy, adidas and many more. The NOWHERE store also built a foundation for NIGO’s first solo venture. The one that would launch him to a new level of notoriety: A BATHING APE.
At its height, BAPE manufactured rare pieces of high quality garments which resulted in collaborations with Medicom Toy, Nintendo, Disney and countless others. In 2003, BAPE released its first of many game-changing collections with adidas. Still sought-after today, the adidas x BAPE Super Ape Star and Super Ape Skate were produced in limited runs of 500 pairs per colourway.
While NIGO was cementing himself as the most influential individual in streetwear, he was also working closely with long-time adidas collaborator, Pharrell Williams, who was single-handedly catapulting hip-hop production into the mainstream. In 2005, the duo launched Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, which would quickly garner a similar reputation to A BATHING APE – and immediately earned itself a spot on the racks at our OG Livestock storefront. NIGO, Pharrell and adidas continued to build their collaborative relationship with a series of sought-after releases – including the adidas by Pharrell x BBC HU NMD Collection.
In 2010, NIGO had quietly and mysteriously launched Human Made: a ‘60s inspired, Japanese-made menswear line which inherently opposed all current norms and trajectories of the industry. He then made a rare appearance on Facebook to clear up rumours about BAPE ownership – and to cryptically announce that he would now devote his attention to the creative direction of Human Made:
Human Made was a response to the hype-over-quality ethos which was infesting the streetwear scene at the time. NIGO had created something larger than life with BAPE, BBC, adidas, and the radical diamond jewelry he was designing for hip-hop elites.
With Human Made, he returned to the playful young energy which has always fueled his designs. Quality, Individuality and Comfort are of the utmost importance to Human Made: Gears for Futuristic Teenagers. This is evident in its ongoing relationship with adidas – having started with the adidas by Pharrell Williams x Human Made HU Collection. The brand stands for everything that A BATHING APE once did, while looking to more advanced design standards than ever before.
Naturally, NIGO has now taken Human Made to one of his favourite sneaker silhouettes, and the one which best describes his standing: The Superstar.
Nigo's Human Made marks the iconic Superstar 80s with the Japanese label's signature branding placed subtly throughout. Human Made hearts replace the usual circular perforations surrounding the Superstar 80s' three-stripes, which are cut from premium suede and emblazoned with custom script. The adidas Originals by Human Made Superstar 80s is finished with Human Made branding at the heel, and a classic rubber shell toe. Click here to shop the adidas Originals by Human Made Superstar 80s Collection.