Thanks to the folks over at Hypebeast and from Inventory, we’ve got our first look at the new season from Mr. Bathing Ape. As a brand, a Bathing Ape (a.k.a BAPE) have always branded themselves and benefited from limited run and high cost as a general model for business.

Over the last couple of years it seems as though Nigo and the BAPE family have moved away a bit from this model – perhaps most noticeably with the launch of Mr. Bathing Ape last March. Rather than focus fully on cartoon designs that would be limited in number of prints they have gone on the other economic pressure to keep things even more “in demand”.

Whilst there is no denying the fact that the BAPE brand isn’t designed for the price sensitive consumer, even some of the most avid BAPE followers may not be in the right income bracket to pony up for the Mr. Bathing Ape line. It’s hard to say whether ultimately this is a marketing angle to go after an even more elite class of street wear enthusiast, or if in fact, it is an indication of the fact that the BAPE team are pretty savvy after all and with an ageing consumer base, they’ve realised their long term growth is dependent on the ageing streetwear and sneaker obsessed crowd continuing to find their brand relevant, keep things stylish, but also provide options that could be worn to work and more formal events.

If this is a sign of the evolution of the company towards these pressures it may just warrant charging £600 for a pair of dress shoes from a trainer brand.

The photos from the new collection are via Hypebeast.