Oh, man, where to begin with Kapital?
Founded in 1984, in Kojima – a town widely regarded as the ‘denim capital’ of Japan, hence the name – Kapital began life focusing solely on denim but has since expanded it’s line to offer a full range of clothing and accessories. However, the brand truly found it’s ‘voice’ when the founder brought his son on board as head designer.
Unusual fabrics, such as their iconic Century Denim, and exemplary build quality are what sets Kapital apart from so many of their peers.
Toshikiyo Hirata, the founder of Kapital, was working for a jeans brand in the 70s and early 80s, but tired of simply churning out copies of American jeans and wanted to bring a more Japanese sensibility to the design of denim. Having had an epiphany during a trip to America - oddly enough, he came here to teach karate for a while - upon his return, he left his job and founded Kapital.
Today, Toshikiyo is still the company’s president and his son Kiro is still the head designer - and the interplay between father & son allows Kapital to stay true to its traditional roots, whilst engaging with modern aesthetics and more forward-looking styles.
The key detail in every Kapital product is something that Toshikiyo himself can only describe simply as ‘heart’. Both he & Kiro view the designs as almost akin to their children and take the same pride in giving 100% to them that one would take in their child getting an A grade. Both Toshikiyo and Kiro fully embrace the idea of clothing having a personality, and one that is shaped by the wearer as much as the designer – much like the nature vs. nurture debate.
When Kiro joined the team more than a decacde ago, he took Kapital’s overall feel and nixed it, beginning again from scratch and - with the input of both father & son - the brand has grown into an ever-evolving workshop of ideas, and one that’s constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.