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Big names go ape for BAPE

It's easy to understand why Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Pete Wentz, Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Jermaine Dupri, Robin Thicke, Serena Williams and Jonah Hill hit the overcrowded launch of the BAPE Store on Melrose Avenue on Wednesday night.

The inventive line of colorful Japanese fashion fused with urban hip-hop has a fan base that includes everyone from Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys to Robin Williams. After all, who can resist hot mode from a company whose name means "a bathing ape in lukewarm water"?

The chic boutique also features the Billionaire Boys Club clothing line that Williams co-owns with BAPE founder Tomoaki "Nigo" Nagao.

"There was a serious void in L.A. fashion before BAPE came to town," Williams told Dupri, who was outfitted in multihued BAPE-wear.

But what was Mike Tyson doing at the opening? Not even he was too sure.

"I don't know a thing about the company, the fashion or what's going on here tonight," Tyson admitted. "But I'll take anything free that they want to give me."

>JOEL STRATTE-McCLURE/SPYWITNESS

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(1 -- color) Kanye West

(2 -- color) Pharrell Williams

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Title Annotation:LA.COM
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 26, 2008
Words:195
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