Brand: USPS X BAPE
Release Date: August 28
Price: ¥21,300 ($155)
Buy: BAPE’s webstore
Editor’s Notes: The United States Postal Service, better known by its abbreviated moniker USPS, links with BAPE for special delivery of collaborative BAPE STA sneakers.
The USPS’ BAPE STA comes dressed in patriotic hues akin to the agency’s Americanized palette, as seen on the upper’s navy blue leather paneling, red star-shaped STA bolt, and crisp white laces.
What really makes this collaborative BAPE STA ooze post office appeal is the design on the upper, which emulates an IRL USPS delivery form (one that’s not written on, by the way).
However, filling out the USPS’ BAPE STAs is left to the sneakerhead’s discretion.
The BAPE STAs also feature the USPS standing eagle emblem on the heel as an official stamp of approval from the Post Office itself.
As if things couldn’t get any more postal, BAPE’s also dropping a collaborative work shirt embroidered with BAPE and USPS patches, making the case for a potential fashion trend: mailmancore.
Note: Please don’t impersonate your local mail person or a fine and imprisonment may follow. Seriously.
In a way, the USPS x BAPE collab is fitting and funny, considering both brands have something in common: shaky relationships in Nike.
Let’s take a trip back down memory lane. In 2021, Nike dropped a USPS-inspired Air Force 1 sneaker, complete with the American flag color scheme and shoeboxes that cleverly mimicked Priority Mail shipping boxes.
But one detail was omitted: USPS’ approval.
Nike was definitely feeling itself a bit too much. A multibillion-dollar corporation or not, this is a federal agency we’re talking about here!
Indeed, the USPS stepped in to humble The Swoosh. In a since-removed statement, the American postal service stated, “Sales of unauthorized and unlicensed products deny support to the hardworking women and men of the Postal Service.”
“This is an unfortunate situation where a large brand such as Nike, which aggressively protects its own intellectual property, has chosen to leverage another brand for its own gain.”
Now, BAPE hasn’t had a comparable blow-up with Nike, amazingly enough, but it’s no secret that the BAPE STA sneakers are reminiscent of Nike’s Air Force 1 model. The only difference is the price tag and logos.
Following the USPS’ official linkup with Vans, the latest BAPE STA collab delivers a yet another middle finger to the Swoosh as it’s being shipped by the nationwide courier itself.
Nike may not get mail on Sundays. But for BAPE, USPS is breaking from routine by dropping its BAPE STAs this Sunday, August 28.
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