Kapital in Modern Day Fashion
Kapital & Modern Day fashion
BY Tyler Sandoval
The first Kapital pic I remember seeing was back in 2011 or 2012 on filmmaker Jake Davis’ typepad (which I say all the time was both goated and ahead of its time), on a post titled “If I Had a Tumblr” (which I say all the time was a goated post). It was a dude standing in front of what looks like the Grand Tetons wearing some kinda goofy brunch-adjacent hat and, more importantly, a faded army green ring coat. I’d never seen anything like it. It was double breasted in a Peacoat On Acid kinda way, had a lot of pockets, and legitimately looked to me like it could have some kind of authentically vintage jacket that Badlands ranchers would have worn back in the day. It was definitely turned up to 11, but, like all great riffings on vintage Americana, it was still clearly rooted in some kind of historical garment. It took me a bit of exploring to learn that 1) it sadly wasn't an authentic picture of a Badlands rancher and 2) that it was from an image from a lookbook for a Japanese brand called Kapital, specifically their FW 2011 Colorado Hippies lookbook.
This approach, of putting American and Japanese workwear in a blender with a hefty dose of imagination, pervades everything within each sprawling Kapital collection. You can see it in full effect in their seasonal catalogues. All shot by photographer Eric Kvatek, they’ve become souvenirs, ravenously collected by Kapital enthusiasts around the globe, and are the clearest distillation of the brand’s creative vision. They look like RRL campaigns on psychedelics; with hippies and surfers and preppies and rockers hanging out alongside, or taking the place of, the cowboys and ranchers. And all of these mashed up, tripped out takes on archetypal characters are reflected in the clothes.They got oversized tees and floral Hawaiian shirts with skeleton motifs that give real Wooks On Motorcycles vibes. Their now-signature smiley faces give hippie-dippie vibes to otherwise basic garments like sweaters and raglan socks. Oversized Kapital Kountry U sweatshirts look like alternate universe team issues for Jimmie Johnson’s Miami Hurricanes from the 1980s. Even accessories like the bandanas or the aprons and trucker hats that advertise the fictional(?) Kapital Denim Services feel like artifacts from their extended cinematic universe.
It’s no surprise that both down-the-rabbit-hole jawnz enthusiasts and fashion-forward celebs like A$AP Rocky and John Mayer love this stuff. Kapital gives you the chance to step into their unique vision of the quintessential post-war Americana we’re all so familiar with, and either become your own character within that world, or borrow from it just enough to carry their sense of creativity and imagination with you into your everyday life.