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Nigo in Thailand, 2006.jpg
Nigo, 2006
Background information
Also known asNigo
Born (1970-12-23) December 23, 1970 (age 48)
OriginMaebashi, Japan
Occupation(s)Fashion designer, DJ, record producer, entrepreneur
Years active1995–present
LabelsBape Human Made
Associated actsTeriyaki Boyz, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Verbal, Wise, Ilmari, Ryo-Z

Nigo (ニゴー, Nigō, born Tomoaki Nagao (長尾 智明) on December 23, 1970) is a Japanese fashion designer, DJ, record producer and entrepreneur best known as the creator of the urban clothing line A Bathing Ape (Bape).[1] He is the DJ of the Japanese hip hop group Teriyaki Boyz.

Fashion background[edit]

Nigo's venture into fashion started in a small store selling a few Bape T-shirts and camouflage print hoodies, which became very popular among teenagers. In 2002, Nigo released the Bapesta sneaker[2], which according to BBC presenter Jonathan Ross, later became the "epitome of collectable footwear."[3] The sneaker resembles Nike's Air Force 1 design[4], but instead of the swoosh on the side, it has Nigo's Bapesta logo that is a star with a lightning zap extending out of the star. In 2005, Nigo partnered with Pharrell Williams to create and launch the streetwear brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream footwear. In 2017, Nigo became the creative director for Uniqlo's UT brand and his new brand Human Made.[1]

Musical and entertainment background[edit]

Nigo has been associated with popular rap and hip hop artists such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, he is the DJ of the Japanese hip hop group Teriyaki Boyz and is also owner of BAPE Sounds record label. He also has an MTV Japan show which he created called Nigoldeneye.

Together with BiS manager Watanabe Junnosuke, Nigo is the producer and manager for the female pop group BILLIE IDLE,[5] his involvement with the group began in 2014, when he directed a music video for BiS' song "nerve",[6] and after the group disbanded, Nigo and Watanabe offered BiS members First Summer Uika and Hirano Nozomi the chance to join their new project, BILLIE IDLE. The group debuted in 2014 with the album "IDLE GOSSIP", for which Nigo is the executive producer.[7]


  • Nigo speaks little or no English and uses a translator whenever he does interviews.
  • Nigo has a cameo appearance in the Takashi Murakami short film Akihabara Majokko Princess shown at the "Pop Life" exhibition at Tate Modern in London.
  • His real name is Tomoaki Nagao (長尾 智明).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lemola, Hasse. "NIGO on the Intersection of Streetwear & Fast Fashion". Hypebeast. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Bathing Ape Bapes History | SneakerFiles". SneakerFiles. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2008-10-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "A Look Back at the Best BAPESTAs Ever Released". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  5. ^ "BILLIE IDLE®". BILLIE IDLE (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  6. ^ Vice Japan (2014-06-04), BiS / nerve directed by NIGO®(2.5D × VICE), retrieved 2016-07-23
  7. ^ Idle Gossip, Space Shower Music, retrieved 2016-07-23

External links[edit]