Telethon Makes Bathing Ape Explode, Soon to be Selling at Wal-Mart

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Because this writer’s an old person and the last cool fashion purchase he made was in 1989, there’s not a ton of knowledge about brands and labels and all of that floating around in his wardrobe. However, we do catch wind of trends and we’d heard about this Bathing Ape craze. And while we probably aren’t going to rush out and buy a $400 hoodie anytime soon, we have to admire the marketing efforts of the company, as we learned about via Jean Snow. Just last weekend, they sponsored the 30th annual airing of the odd Japanese program, 24-Hour Television, wherein celebrities stay away for a whole day and do stupid things for charity. It sounds a lot like the Jerry Lewis Telethon except less scary and more brightly colored. Anyway, everyone on the show wore a Bathing Ape designed t-shirt and sold them on-air. They wound up shipping out more than 300,000 of them in just one day, raising $420 million, and immediately let the company jump from the fashionista subculture to the deep pockets of the mainstream.