More Than is an ongoing series for those looking to move past cult brands and onto elevated and refined alternatives. Whether you are simply exploring or are already a devoted fan, each brand below—while tangentially related—allows the wearer to expand his or her repertoire while simultaneously standing out from the crowd.

The definitive Japanese streetwear brand, for many BAPE is the first and only name in the game. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. BAPE is just one player in a diverse streetwear culture. While in large part responsible for the proliferation of Japanese streetwear in the Western world, many counterparts present seasonal collections that are just as good—if not better—than the king of camo. BAPE traces its roots back to NOWHERE, the seminal boutique founder NIGO opened alongside friend and frequent collaborator Jun Takahashi (founder of Undercover) in 1993. With financial support from Hiroshi Fujiwara—regarded as the godfather of Japanese streetwear—the store played a central role in establishing the Ura-Harajuku scene. Yet, while other notable brands sprouted out of the scene, BAPE was by far the largest. A close association with hip-hop helped BAPE develop a cult following stateside in the early ‘00s, and by the the time the BAPE store opened in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood, the brand was well its on way to being a household name. For many, however, following NIGO’s departure from the brand in 2013, the brand is simply no longer the same. A result of the inextricable hype and a lack of connection to modern Japanese street culture—BAPE was sold to Hong Kong based conglomerate I.T. in 2011—BAPE lost much of its former luster. Thankfully, many counterparts boast similar histories and cultural cache, without the arguably dated bold & brash colorways. Whether you are simply over the 1st Camo or looking to add items to compliment your best Ape Head, the following brands are the best Japanese streetwear has to offer.

Tags: more-than, wtaps, neighborhood, number-n-ine, mastermind-japan, cav-empt, undercover, bape