Kapital World :D

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Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:14 pm

Kapital is a beast of a brand. To me they are similar to companies like Cosmic Wonder Light Source and Bless in that it’s not a designer’s vision of “the ____ man/woman” that’s being presented or sold to you. Kapital is the country house of a curious family that you visit in the fall to see all the wonderful projects they make together, and to be a part of that creative experience.

Go on to the Kapital webstore (found here: http://www.kapital.jp/e-store/) and try to not fall in love with at least one item. The breadth of their creations is staggering for a brand that has so little international presence. There are international and US stockists, yes, but their buys are often conservative and fail to truly capture the imagination of a brand like Kapital.

Designwise, Kapital draws flintstone from similar sources as Hiroki Nakamura’s Visvim, drawing prominently from Native American and American hippy cultures, as well as the occasional prep influence. This is a company for which the devil is not only in the details – pieces feature incredibly unique overall design while still retaining incredible depth in the details.

There’s information out there about this brand if you can find it, but I’ve tried to condense it here for you. Much of this information is distilled from Kapital’s own site and the blog The Bandana Almanac, found here: http://bandanna-almanac.com/. Hope you enjoy!
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:14 pm

History

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(What follows is a summary of the interview that will be posted underneath it. For more details – which I would really, encourage, it’s a great read – skip my words and go right to the source.)

Kapital was created 30 years ago by Toshikiyo Hirata after working at a denim company for 9 years making copies of Levi’s jeans. He decided he wanted to make better jeans than Levi’s, and this small desire was the impetus for the brand. Toshikiyo started the company as an OEM business due to lack of funds, which essentially means that Kapital would add a few details to products other companies made and sell those. Eventually Toshikiyo got frustrated with this approach and began hiring designers and creating their own products.

Kapital in its modern form didn’t truly exist until Toshikiyo’s son, Kiro Hirata, came on board as a designer. He had watched his father create clothes since he was born, and he brought a radical new design approach to the company, changing everything about the way they manufactured and what kind of clothes they produced. Now Toshikiyo handles much of the business side, and the interplay between the two is what makes Kapital so special.

Full Interview:

Spoiler:
BA: How did Kapital get its start? What are its roots?

TH: “Around 1975 I started working for a jeans company. I worked for that company for 9 years. The trigger for me starting my own company was when I went to America to teach karate (to beat Americans). The jeans company I was working for only made copies of American jeans. I got sick of making copies of American jeans and I just started thinking that I wanted to make jeans that are better than Levi’s. That is the start of Kapital.”

Therefore, I could see the designers he dealt with, I saw his failures and success, before I even started working. Now we work together, and we can take risks together.

BA: What is it like to work side by side as father and son?

TH: “Kiro and I have a something in common towards making goods, but because of the generation gap our methods and styles differ.”

Kiro: “Kapital is a family company so we can share our thoughts smoothly. You usually can’t do this without a lot of trust first. My father was making jeans since I was born so, I had the chance to use a sewing machine and stuff like that and I consider myself lucky to have those experiences. Therefore, I could see the designers he dealt with, I saw his failures and success, before I even started working. Now we work together, and we can take risks together.”

BA: What does the blue hands logo symbolize?

TH: “It is a symbol trying to express the Craftsman’s hands. The blue is denim. When making denim your hands get blue from the indigo dye, just like the jeans.” (laughter)

Kiro: “The original logo had stripes on the hands, 25 lines I think… that is the 25 steps of how we make jeans. There is one star and that means jeans. The craftsman, the indigo blue hands, jeans, and the 25 steps are what it symbolizes.”

BA: Where does the flintstone come from?

TH: “When I made the TH jeans, like I said before I wanted to make better jeans than Levi’s. Wrangler, Lee etc. Levi’s all have an arcuate stitch, so I didn’t put that stitch on the TH on purpose. I wanted people to know that the jeans were Kapital by not adding the stitching.”

I don’t know if this is the cool thing to say, but I think everything we make has a heart.

BA: In your opinion, what sets Kapital apart from other clothing companies?

TH: “Our products are not perfect, but we never half-ass anything. We always go 100% on everything we make. I don’t know if this is the cool thing to say, but I think everything we make has a heart. Sometimes I want to cut corners here and there but Kiro never allows me to do it. So sometimes we have conflict, but I don’t think either of us is wrong. I look at things as a businessman and Kiro views things as a designer.”

BA: Why does Kapital do almost all their denim in one-wash?

TH: “Denim or jeans are made from cotton. If you wash for example silk or rayon it doesn’t change that much. Denim (cotton) on the other hand, shrinks and changes. So I think one-wash is better because it gives the jeans more character. So almost all of the cotton products we produce are “one-wash”. If I say ‘washing’ there are so many methods, such as drying with tumbler, hang drying, and depending on that, the character changes. I am interested in the washing process. I think Kiro sees things differently though.”

Kiro: “I have a different opinion about this. Like for century denim I think raw is better. When we make products we focus on men’s clothing. We have a lot of women’s clothing, but for example we choose oxford (cloth) for a shirt, which most other companies would use a light-ounce fabric. We prefer to use men’s fabric for women’s clothing. I really like raw denim. Not one-wash or stone-wash, because I want to wear it and add my own personality to it. I want to be the thing that makes my clothing special from the others. The raw denim market isn’t so strong, but we tried with ‘Century Jeans‘. So this is our own promotion for raw denim, ‘Century Jeans‘.”

BA: You have expanded business overseas, how exciting is it to see people around the world whom embrace your products?

TH: “Did we? (laughter) I am not sure how to answer that…”

Kiro: “I am so happy” (laughs)

Cotton is really biddable, so sometimes cotton laughs, cries, and shrinks so we can do a lot of exciting things with it.

BA: What has been the most exciting project you have done?

TH: “When Kapital started out it was an OEM business because of a lack of funds. As an OEM business, when we finished production we submit the products to the customer. Whatever b-class items we happen to ship, get returned by the client. They say ‘there is some flaw’ even though it isn’t our fault because the materials were provided by the clients. However they insist it is our responsibility, because we are cutting and sewing the goods for them. We began to accumulate b-class stock because of all the returns, and of course we don’t get paid for those b-class item returns. For example if it costs ¥1500 but the profit is 15% of that which is about ¥200. So let’s say we make 100 and they return 10 as a b-class product. That means there is no profit. I wanted to sell these returned products because they are something we made from scratch, we gave birth to it, and it is like our child. At that time I was shocked to hear my products my “children” called ‘b-class’. We wanted to sell these higher than the original price, so here is where we started to do stone-washing and remaking products. We started do something the other apparel companies couldn’t do, and I realized there is a market for this kind of business. That is when I got really excited doing this work. Cotton is really biddable, so sometimes cotton laughs, cries, and shrinks so we can do a lot of exciting things with it. I am really having a good time doing Kountry products now too.”

Kiro: “Now. Always whatever is happening and whatever we are making now. For example right now I am excited about this year’s Spring/Summer collection.”

BA: What in your opinion makes good design?

TH: “I have no idea… If you are comfortable with whatever you wear, that is good design.”

Kiro: “Simple. Function, and durability. This applies to everything I think. Super-functional and simple. That is very difficult to get right.”

BA: What do you think makes Kapital a special brand? Where do you see room for improvement?

TH: “Before Kiro started working at Kapital, I was hiring designers myself for 5 years. There was a lot based on trial and error in those days. So I was in a strong position, and I pressured them to sell everything we made. I pressed sales a lot, but I don’t think Kiro focuses so much on making products to sell easily. When Kiro first started working at Kapital he set out for demolition to start from scratch. And now we are rebuilding everything he destroyed. As a creator you have to break something you have in order to make something better. Improving… Because we have so many staff members now we have to make a company that can pay them more, and that is the responsibility of an employer, but that isn’t responsibility of a designer.”

Kiro: “My father and I. Okayama. That history makes this company special.”

BA: The new summer catalog is out, what is the story behind the line?

Kiro: “I always have a meeting with Kvatek before shooting and we decide the location then. For this summer I made a theme title called “New Navajo”. A new Native American style. After we met and finished the shoot we changed the title to ‘Indigo Indio’.”

BA: Kiro you must do a lot of traveling, how much do the people you meet and the places you go inspire your designs?

Kiro: “The history… if I know the history… also the environment. These inspire my designs when I travel”

BA: If there is something you can change about the fashion industry, what do you want to change?

Kiro: “I don’t have anything I want to change but I want to protect the importance of jeans. That’s it. Everybody is changing but I think protecting is more difficult that changing. Currently the price of jeans is inexpensive. If people want to make them cheaper I don’t care. I understand that people prefer cheaper jeans, but I want to protect the good aspects of jeans.”

BA: Is there another book in the works?

Kiro: “I have a plan for another Kottoichi.”

BA: What do you collect?

Kiro: “Bandannas, and snow globes. I collect old Japanese textiles but that is mostly for work.”

BA: What is your drink of choice?

TH: “I don’t drink much alcohol, but I really like coffee.”

Kiro: “I like Nihonshu…”

We always try to lead customers into the world that we create in each book.

BA: What is your personal favorite Kapital catalog and why?

Kiro: “I like “Indigo Indio” and I will probably like the next one too. My favorite catalog is the newest one. I look forward to the reactions, especially the negative ones. We always try to lead customers into the world that we create in each book.”

BA: Where does Kapital see itself in 5 to 10 years?

Kiro: “We are a small team with big plans. We are always looking for new and creative ideas.”

BA: Do you have any words or greetings you would like to say to your English speaking fans around the world?

TH: “I am making stuff to make customers happy, so I will try hard. I like to take 40% and give 60% to my customers.”

Kiro: “I have worked at Kapital for 10 years as a designer, like my father mentioned earlier I demolished his “Kapital” so now we are in the process of rebuilding. We built a new factory called “Kountry factory”. There we do sewing, washing, and design. We have a 20 year history of our OEM business plus the 10 years of my father’s factories and my designs, so I want to show a lot of people our new denim created by this history. I also want to show people that Kojima and Kurashiki are evolving. That this is where Kapital is headed. Other companies are looking in different directions, but we stay here and evolve. So please cheer for us.”

This post is dedicated to my father James C. Lukacek (1949~2008) who without his encouragement of “chasing your dreams” and hard work I would have never considered this project. Also dedicated to fathers and sons who work side by side through the highs and the lows. Also I have to thank my wife Shiho for helping with the translation work, without her this would have been impossible.
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:15 pm

Denim/Century

Denim is the heart of Kapital, what the business was founded on and perhaps its most accessible product. Their denim offerings come in two lines, Standard and Century, and these help display the different approaches of Toshikiyo and Kiro Hirata. Kapital denim is offered in six main cuts, with many variations: TH, Cisco, Stone, Okabilly, Cactus, and Pierrot. Info on cuts can be found here: http://kapital.jp/kapital-denim-guide/.

Kapital’s Standard denim line contains its oldest offerings, the backbone of the company. This denim is all one washed per Toshikiyo’s ideology, believing that one wash allows the perfect balance for the flexibility of cotton and the desire to have the product maintain form and function as intended for as long as possible.

Century denim is Kiro’s brainchild, and was introduced fairly recently. These jeans are raw rather than one washed to allow for more growth for denim and consumer as their relationship continues. The quickest difference you’ll notice between Standard and Century denim is that Century denim is woven with both cotton and indigo sashiko threads, giving an incredibly unique texture.

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[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/56957498[/vimeo]
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:15 pm

Eric Kvatek & Kapital World

Eric Kvatek is an undeniable part of Kapital’s aesthetic. He is a photographer who forged a 15-year-long friendship with Kiro Hirata, who he met while shooting for 45rpm, then styled by Hirata. Kvatek is the photographer for all of Kapital’s lookbooks, and was heavily featured in the film Kapital World, a film detailing the process of shooting the Spring 2014 Kapital lookbook “Sailor Ninja” in France, directed by Hsiang Chin Moe, a New York artist.

Trailer for Kapital World:

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/86780025[/vimeo]

Website:

http://www.kapitalworldmovie.com/#home

Interview with Eric Kvatek detailing his personal history and his relationship with Kapital, found on blog StyleSight (blog.stylesight.com/denim):

Spoiler:
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- We read that you used to be a vintage dealer back in the ’90s before you were a full time photographer. What type of product/era were you buying and selling back then? Was denim a big part of your business?

I was a full time vintage dealer from 1993 to 2000, roughly. My love of vintage denim prompted me to hunt for jeans while living in New Mexico. As I became more and more obsessed, it was easy to just make it my occupation. Inevitably, you end up finding jeans that are not the right size. Eventually my “wrong size” jeans pile was overtaking my house and my girlfriend at the time demanded I get rid of them. So I became a vintage dealer. First and foremost I wanted to find Levis 501 from the ’40s and ’50s, even back then it was difficult, but they did turn up on a regular basis. I also was always hoping to find horsehide leather jackets and engineer boots. At first I sold to stores in California, but I met a Japanese dealer one day at a thrift store. He pointed at everything I was wearing and said, “I want to buy this kind of stuff. I’ll be back in 3 months.”

- As you obviously have an eye for this, what are your favorite vintage dealers and markets?

In NYC I like stopping by Stock Vintage. Whenever I can, I try to shop at Strongarm Clothing & Supply but it’s by appointment only these days. I actually love shopping at vintage clothing stores in Tokyo, because there’s so much amazing stuff to see, even if it’s too expensive to buy. I like going to Berberjin and Jantiques. But really so many of the stores there have great stuff, and sometimes I get lucky. But now, shopping at thrift stores, flea markets just bums me out. I compare it to the glory days and it’s just so different now. Walking out empty-handed is just so sad.

- You grew up in Ohio in the Midwest. Were you wearing denim and workwear back then and did this influence your attraction towards the vintage market and brands like Kapital?

When I was five years old, maybe even younger, I was obsessed with Johnny Cash and Elvis. So I wanted to dress like them. Also, my family had a small farm where I worked part time, so we just naturally wore jeans. We got one pair of jeans and one pair of sneakers and it had to last for a year. If we grew too much, my mother would add fabric to the pant legs. So by the end of the summer I looked like I was wearing Kapital, but it was the 1970s. By the time I was in high school, I could fit in my cousins’ hand-me-down Levis and some of my father’s Air Force gear. So that’s just what I wore. When I began shopping for vintage, I wasn’t trying to be cool. I was just shopping for what I was familiar with, and it was cheap. A pair of 1950s Levis were .25 cents at the thrift store and already broken in, compared to a brand new pair of 501′s at the K-mart were like $14.99, so it was an easy decision to look for vintage.

- How did you first encounter Kapital – were you aware of the brand before you were approached by Kiro?

I started shooting for 45rpm in 2001, I think. So I went to Tokyo, we went to a sushi restaurant and they instructed this young designer guy to sit next to me because he could speak English. And then he was sent on the photo shoots to style the clothing. Well that was Kiro Hirata. So we just naturally got along and became friends. Eventually Kiro left 45rpm and started designing for his father’s brand, Kapital. So eventually, he asked me to be the photographer. When I first saw the Kapital clothing, it was almost all denim back then. I just loved it! I guess it reminded me of my tattered stuff from childhood.

- Kapital are known for their unconventional collection themes (Sailor Ninja, Surf Cowboys, Colorado Hippies, etc.) how do you and Kiro approach these quirky themes?

The themes just evolve out of what inspires Kiro. Sometimes the name doesn’t materialize until after we’ve already shot the photos. Kiro usually names the book himself. I think I named the one, “Sailor Hooligans”. But the general theme is just a combination of the overall jizz. Kiro likes combining seemingly disparate concepts. It’s like a challenge, to make it work out. One thing I really fear, is copying myself. There’s already enough people copying what we do, and the last thing I want is to be guilty of that. So it’s good to challenge ourselves and each other. We kind of talk about that in the Kapital World Documentary.

- What was the first photo shoot you did for the brand and where was it?

The first photo shoot I did for Kapital was early summer of 2005. We shot it in my neighborhood, the Lower East Side, and upstate New York at my friend’s property. All of the models were just my friends and bartenders that I knew. The extra props were just stuff from my apartment or stuff laying around upstate.

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- Whats been your most memorable shoot to date and why?

It’s always difficult to say what my favorite one is. Usually my favorite is the most recent one I shot. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my old photos. But I would say the one we shot in Iceland was particularly successful. Kiro named it “Innocent World“. I’m not sure how he came up with that, but it really sums up what I was trying to create in the photos. The people we found were really some of the best ever. It was Iceland, so we had like 22 hours of daylight to play with. So we could really take our time and set up crazy shots. Usually on a shoot it’s like racing the clock to get everything done before sunset.

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There’s another one that stands out, Aloha Brigade from 2006. We shot in Maui with some of my Hawaiian friends. There was a Native American theme. Kiro let me include photos of my Native American grandfather Tom Griffin, and I wrote a story based on my memories of him. It’s in the catalog, so it’s one of books I return to once in a while to read the story I wrote. It’s another instance of the Kapital clothing, the people, the location and props really coming together.

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- Do you wear a lot of Kapital yourself and, if so, what is your favorite piece?

I wear Kapital all the time. I love the denim Western shirts. Every once in a while Kiro makes a special one for me. I’ve actually worn a few of them out to the point of being rags. I love the Kapital boots and there’s some outerwear that’s really amazing, obviously. Lately I’ve been inseparable from my Kapital camo western shirts. My favorite Kapital jeans are the Cactus boot cut jeans. I need to get a new pair actually, so next time in Japan that’s my target.

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- You have a very recognizable photography style. How did you carve it out and who were your inspirations?

Something else that I mention in the Kapital World documentary is that I didn’t train to be a photographer. I bought a camera in high school and learned by trial and error. I had no idea what the buttons did. I found out only after developing the film. After high school, I went to art school in Albuquerque for drawing. But towards the end I took a photo critique class because the instructor was highly respected, Patrick Nagatani. He was just very encouraging and inspiring in general. He wasn’t teaching us how to take photos, more like how to think like an artist. I still think about advice he gave me back then.

Being a vintage dealer allowed me to buy better cameras and to afford to travel out of the country. It was because of these trips that I decided to be a documentary photographer. In 1999 I went to a conflict area, and I just started taking photos. People were being shot and the Indonesian army was doing some crazy stuff. I met a reporter from the Jakarta newspaper and he helped me hook up with some interesting characters. I knew then it was what I wanted to do.

I always liked the photos of Dorthea Lange. Larry Burrows’ Vietnam photos are just incredible. Avedon of course, In the American West. And honestly, when I was in high school I found a box of photos that my other grandfather Ed Kvatek had taken in combat in World War II. I studied his photos as if it were a how-to manual. I still look at those photos for flintstone.

- You’ve also worked with a number of other brands like Free People and PRPS. How does your aesthetic fit with these brands?

I think when other brands contact me to shoot, they already kind of know what I’m about, so it almost always works out. For example, when I shot for Replay, I flew to Italy and met with their team and it was very easy. We had the same inspirations. We went to dinner, drank wine and got along really well. It felt like we had known each other a long time.

Like I said, even with Kapital I don’t want to just copy myself. So it’s always exciting to work with a new team and do something that satisfies them and at the same time maybe challenge myself a little. Free People and PRPS are also great brands and their teams were very easy to join. There’s stuff I would do on a Kapital shoot that I would not do for PRPS, let’s say. But there’s stuff I’ll do for PRPS that I wouldn’t do on a Kapital shoot. It’s like having different friends, and just relating to each friend in different ways. It’s always nice to have more than one friend!

- The Kapital World Documentary is about to launch, which reveals a unseen before look into the brand. What was the idea behind this?

So Kiro and Hsiang Chin Moe, the filmmaker, were talking and originally Hsiang Chin had the idea to do a 10 minute behind the scenes video in France. Kiro said it would be better to be like 2 hours, I guess the compromise was what we have, the 60 minute long final version. Further more, Kiro granted Hsiang Chin full access to everything and gave her total control over the final cut. I tried to reject some content but was unsuccessful, so what you end up seeing is really her uncompromised vision.

People had requested to do something like this in the past and I always refused. I knew it would interfere with the actual shoot. And I knew they would make something that was too formal. Hsiang Chin was already familiar with us, so she was able to infiltrate the shoot without distracting us. If you see the movie, it’s obvious we were very comfortable being around her. It never occurred to us to pretend to be cool or behave ourselves. So really, you get to see what it’s genuinely like to be there.
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:16 pm

Kountry

The aspect of Kapital that is often most immediately striking to new eyes is the Kountry line, due to its heavy use of distressed fabrics, boro cloth, patching and repairs. The Kountry line is also a relatively recent aspect of the brand and is designed by Kiro Hirata and a team of others (can’t find their names, sorry). All of the Kountry clothing is made in Kapital’s Kountry factory.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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(soft washing machine)

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(over-dying machine)

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(drying machine)

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(all buttons are distressed/aged in-house)

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(company president Toshikiyo Hirata)

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The illustrious design team:

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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:16 pm

I'll be posting product shots, lookbooks, videos, and other content from time to time. Feel free to jump in!
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:25 pm

Kapital's latest offering, Spring 2014's "Sailor Ninja":

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GUHH. Just incredible.

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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby thatbiglake » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:28 pm

nn
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Last edited by thatbiglake on Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:42 pm

Beautiful picture! Where'd you handle their clothing?
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:07 pm

Kapital Spring 2014 Basic Collection debuted on children's toys:

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/90176461[/vimeo]
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:12 pm

Kapital green denim grows up!

Original:

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Original + lengthy love & Kountry craftsmanship:

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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Thu May 08, 2014 9:28 pm

Y'all want some updates on Kapital?

TOO BAD

(These are for @Bobbin.Threadbare)

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Kapital's now got sunglasses! They trap indigo fabrics inside the glass frames to create the lovely texture & detail.

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dat arm detail deaux

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New run of cotton/linen fabrics & garments looking to mix Japanese boro with European "white work" (not sure what they mean by that). Check some of these out though:

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(they have women's too)

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And for your summer white jeans needs:

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i'm shilling so hard right now

Also, for @katy katazome:

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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Thu May 08, 2014 9:41 pm

Some women's fits from the Summer 2014 collection "Denim Men Love Cats":

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Somebody x-post that to the hair thread

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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby birdman caw » Sat May 17, 2014 1:08 pm

Kapital Ringcoat: The Best Parka?

Rakuten is evil. I've wasted a lot of money, time, and precious life-force on that website. I've bought a lot of stuff that I end up reselling a few weeks later. I've wrestled with poor translations, strange measurements, misleading condition qualifiers, the checkout process that forever confounds me. But I keep coming back. Because on Rakuten, you can find the weirdest, coolest, cheapest shit. Like this Kapital ringcoat.

I first stumbled across Kapital when I was looking for cheap Nepenthes stuff. It was one of those love-at-first-sight deals. I think the collection that they had out at the time was titled "Colorado Hippies." As the son of two Colorado Hippies, I was intrigued. The details, the colors, the strange cuts, the sashiko stitching—I loved it. It felt true to my roots, despite being a continent away. My mom's sundresses, my dad's worn flannel—it was all in there, but with a weird, playful, almost DIY twist that separated it from wearing hand-me-downs. I got really, really hype about it. Then I realized I had no idea how to proxy stuff from Japan, and like the jerk I am, forgot about it.

That was two or three years ago. I've moved away from the funky Japanese pseudoworkwear stuff that Nepenthes brands and the like produce, but Kapital has always been in the back of my mind, if only as a curiosity. Could I make patchwork indigo sashiko'd chore coats work with drapey tees and bondage pants? Probably not. It was still the coolest, but beyond me. My decision to purchase the ringcoat, when it revealed itself in the depths of Rakuten (shoutsout to SF's ElBert for giving me a link), was informed by its cheapness, a sense of nostalgia, and... cheapness. Mostly cheapness. When I opened the box, I was expecting something interesting, but ultimately not me.

I was wrong. This coat is the shit. I've tried on a lot of parkas, and none come even slightly close to this. Kapital ringcoat, why do I love you so? Let me list the reasons:

    1) It's made out of a very substantial cotton moleskin fabric. Substantial warm fabrics are nice. I like them.
    2) It has some serious hardware. For some reason I was expecting heritage-looking buttons. Instead you get these cool aged metal rings that clack together with a very satisfying sound whenever you run or jump or whatever.
    3) It has a hood. The hood. My roommate saw we trying it on and was all like "that looks like a clitoral hood." He frowned. "The coolest clitoral hood ever." The hood has also been described as "some nazgul shit", "some astronaut shit", and "some medieval peasant shit". I am very okay with all of these descriptions.
    4) It's huge. I mean, really huge. Unbuttoned it just kinda drapes from your neck, but buttoned it forms two vast rectangles of fabric that hang down your front before twisting into a shawl collar. The whole coat is basically a big rectangle. A really, really big rectangle. I am a guy who likes layering, and this coat lets you layer for days. I'm not sure if I can stress the hugeness angle hard enough. Hugeness is very important when it comes to parkas, and this parka is huge in the best of ways.

I'm not sure what else to say. Oh yeah, it has a lot of cool drawstrings. I like drawstrings. Would I recommend this coat to just anyone? Yeah, probably. It's dramatic, but there is a definite ease about it. Toss it on over anything—it'll do what it wants, but what it does will look good. It works with everything in my wardrobe, and I do not have a wardrobe that is conducive to niche Japanese funky workwear. I dunno, it just feels right. Kapital does a few versions every year in various fabrics/treatments, so I'm sure Rakuten and yahoo!japan probably have a couple pieces hidden somewhere. I wouldn't worry about sizing too much—I'm a medium and I think I went with a small, but I think all the ringcoats are basically free size.

Anyway, some pictures:

Spoiler:
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Ring closures, inside and out.

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The closest thing to a care tag the coat has.
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby yoyobeat » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:53 pm

I became seriously curious about Kapital when the FW14 lookbook came out. I was blown away by the scenery, clothes, particularly the colors... and the girls in the lookbook were super attractive and wearing awesome stuff as well... but anyways, I started looking online occasionally to see if I could find anything in my size (as with lots of jp clothes there's an abundance of small or medium sizes that won't fit me) and eventually came upon this jacket, which looked like it could work. It was a gamble, and not really in stylistic line with the other clothes I'd been experimenting with, but I decided to try it since the asymmetrical patchwork sleeves looked really cool...

Spoiler:
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Now that it's warm enough to wear it, I fucking love this thing as both an aesthetic object and a piece of clothing... a long time ago I read somewhere (SF?) a post discussing how Yohji's clothes make you feel like you're putting on something completely natural, that feels like you've worn it your whole life. I never felt that way about the Yohji clothes I have had, but this jacket has a strong feel like that. The patchwork around the one elbow and the other cuff is absolutely stunning and avoids obvious categorization; it's 'cute' without being 'cutesy' which I really appreciate, and also the cuteness is relegated to a detail rather than being overwhelming. There are several different patterns/colors of patchwork quilt patches and it feels like each diamond is a psychedelic window into another world, yet it all works very well together. Also, there's a part where the indigo(?) dye has worn off a bit onto the surrounding cream fabric, which is so cool.

From a personal perspective, the colors fit seamlessly with the colors of my skin/hair/eyes. I usually find it difficult to find good light blue items that don't look either oversaturated or cheap... or aren't OCBDs or denim jackets. Most of all, though, the fabrics of this Kapital jacket are so soft, light, and breathable. It's shit in the wind--I've gotten spoiled on synthetics and have come to expect windbreaking--but that's ok and even adds to the charm a little. Yes. Charming is a good way to describe this garment. It is a little big in areas but not damningly so, and my monkey arms, like a Houstonite encountering snow for the first time while on vacation, were shocked to find that the sleeves are actually too long and must be rolled up. *shrug* I'll mark it up to charm.

I've seen denim jackets of the exact same style by Kapital (same pocket location and cut, just somewhat faded standard denim and no patchwork) while poking around online. If anyone happens to know details about what year this might be from, or other info about it, I gladly welcome it since I'm not at all knowledgeable about the brand beyond liking their stuff.

here's a quick poor quality fitpic. thanks for reading!
Spoiler:
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby austo » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:48 am

OH HEY we have a Kapital thread here! Easily one of my top brands, most everything they do is really cool and I fanboy over their stuff hard. I've got a fair amount of stuff from them so far and looking to get more soon. Honestly I think I'd be comfortable dressing in 100% Kapital, even their more strange pieces I feel totally comfortable wearing.
Favorite item I own is a flannel shirt, it's insanely comfortable and soft, and it has this weird kimono-buttoning thing where you can button it diagonally and it fits normal but looks odd, or if you wear it open its super billowy from the cut.


Newest piece i bought is this long version of the ring coat. It's so much fun to just play around with different configurations of wearing it. It's just about 4 feet long! Here's a pic:
Spoiler:
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@sknss
Here's a pic of the shirt, as well as older fits of it being worn open and closed. Also more Kapital in these so its fitting for the thread (century denim and sarouel trous)
Spoiler:
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby austo » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:19 pm

Picked up a pair of Kapital's Okabilly denim in 14oz one wash recently. Okabilly is their skinniest fit, lower crotch but slim all throughout. I dig the fit, no pics yet cause i need to get them hemmed. Few differences from the century denim I own: the button is a clean brass button with their branding on it, whereas century denim has antiqued nickel buttons. The leather patches are different fonts, I think I dig the Okabilly's whimsical looking font a bit more. The okabillys also have some weird "half-selvedge" as the webshop put it which just looks like they're extremely hairy. IDK much about denim so I have no idea what "half selvedge" is really.
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I also grabbed this Kapital shop coat, which is a pretty cool cotton herringbone fabric in this like orange-ish pink-ish color with thin green stripes. It's belted but I'm gonna chop that off because it looks better open
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby oucho » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:05 pm

I have a $285 voucher for havenshop because I had to return some shoes, I can't find anything to spend it on and am now seriously considering blowing it all on Kapital socks

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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby austo » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:16 am

Not letting me edit my post for w/e reason

@harmsalmon I got them from Pancho and Lefty! Highly recommend them, not the best selection but if youre in the US the conversion rate and subtraction of VAT at checkout makes their Kapital cheaper than proxying for most things. This stuff went on sale and was super cheap too, I got the jeans and coat and some cute accessories for like under 200

@yoyobeat your guess is as good as mine tbh. could be absolutely nothing. VFD is usually volunteer fire department but idk what the C would be for
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby ramseames » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:59 pm

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/129292536[/vimeo]
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby anshin » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:03 pm

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/131994190[/vimeo]

...in case yall havent seen this yet. runway starts at 17:40
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby trasparenti » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:42 am

I didn't realize there was a Kapital store in Nagoya even tho I walked by it a million times. The sign is really discreet so I always missed it.
Sorry the pictures are so blurry, I forgot that if you try to take pictures while moving my camera completely destroys the quality.



Tons of amazing Kountry stuff for men, women, childs, etc. So much boro and wonky stuff. Cool buttons, hand-painted and hand-distressed details, vintage baubles, patchwork and sashiko - the works. I'm saving for a trip to Tokyo but I could go wild in that store if I wanted to, sooo much cool stuff. Everything was there: shoes, shirts, jackets, shackets, skirts, coats, belts, socks, leathers, suede jackets, boots, scarves, hats, blankets, glasses, bracelets, overalls, vests - literally every imaginable item of clothing or accessory has been done by Kapital in every conceivable manner. They even had tchotchkes! The store also has a fully stocked sewing and repair station equipped with limitless amounts of thread, buttons and more. Pretty sure the staff actually produces some of the boro stuff in-house, which I imagine is the case for every Kapital store (but I dunno).

At the end of the album are two books I picked up. I had to get something, and the socks were a little too pricey. The books are super substantial, full-color and glossy and yet they only cost a mere $3 apiece. One is the current collection and the other one is a lookbook of Kountry stuff. Each collection must be massive if all the stuff in there now is current season; the shop is two stories and it's packed with clothes. I loved the way it was set up, actually; it's like a big warehouse with vintage clothes piled up and around, except the clothes aren't actually vintage and they're all amazing and expensive.
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby nevergreen » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:26 pm

the century denim is awesome, but even better in person. just recently got a pair and i love them. i showed my apparel and human behavior professor (who i also took intro to textiles last semester with) and she went crazy haha. they're also raw so it'll be cool to watch them fade
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby Vox » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:02 pm

Bonobonobo put me onto Kapital and I've only looked at a bit of it, but wow I'm in love.

Can't wait for more updates and hopefully to contribute more sometime soon.

Thank you for all of this great information!
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby nevergreen » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:54 pm

nevergreen wrote:the century denim is awesome, but even better in person. just recently got a pair and i love them. i showed my apparel and human behavior professor (who i also took intro to textiles last semester with) and she went crazy haha. they're also raw so it'll be cool to watch them fade

i still get sad thinking about how these were too small. coolest jeans ever
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby smiles » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:43 am

just got a pair of the century denim _ definitely size up, I am normally a 30 and I found that the 32 was most comfortable. They shrank significantly when I washed them.
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby bels » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:53 am

How do ringu coats fit? I guess at 5'10 I probably want a size 2 not a size 3?

@birdman caw maybe knows
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby dakaf_fal » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:57 am

@bels

My guess would be that you want a size 3, size 2 in most Kapital is made for a true men's small. It's a little tricky with the ring coat because you're basically sizing for sleeve length. I had a conversation with Rue from Cotton Sheep about Kapital sizing when I was in San Francisco last year. He said that their sizing is intentionally made to be consistent across the entire line (i.e. if you wear a size 3 in shirts, you probably wear a size 3 in everything else too).
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby bels » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:50 am

pirxthepilot » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:39 am
Comment:
how is this gonna work with all your niceboi knitwear, wheres the #modularity


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Buy the best things that are all different and wear them at once.

Though actually I feel like the ring coat is a pretty versatile piece. Maybe because it's based on a military jacket.
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Re: Kapital World :D

Postby pirxthepilot » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:59 pm

fair enough, on further investigation it even has casual tie synergy
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