KAPITAL’s New Collection Is Here To Lift Your Spirits

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KAPITAL’s New Collection Is Here To Lift Your Spirits

Words by Ms Francine Heath | Photography by Mr Ivan Ruberto | Styling by Ms Sophie Watson

1 March 2021

Fans of cult Japanese label KAPITAL will already know that a smiley face makes a regular appearance in its collections – in fact, it even has its own hashtag (#KapitalSmile), making it easier to spread the cheer. Whether the egg-yolk yellow splodge is printed on hoodies or embroidered in patches onto 11oz denim, it never fails to make us feel a touch brighter.

Something else that made us happy last year was spotting that the man behind the brand, Mr Kiro Hirata, knows how to have a laugh himself. When a menswear blog cheekily suggested that none other than Mr Joe Exotic could have a role on KAPITAL’s design team, the brand’s Instagram account reposted a screenshot of the headline and snap of the Tiger King with the caption “secret designer”. It’s yet more proof that the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously – a winning formula in our book.

The other happy news is that even when those signature smiley faces don’t feature, the designs continue to channel that same energy and are nothing short of a joy to wear. Here are 10 of our favourite pieces from the latest drop.

You just can’t go wrong buying denim from KAPITAL – after all, “denim” is reportedly Mr Hirata’s philosophy. It helps, of course, that the brand is based in Kojima, a district famous for the fabric’s production. A tried and tested classic, this trucker jacket comes in an easy blue wash and has a slim fit that’ll balance out (and smarten up) even the slouchiest track pants.

Intended to be worn open over your favourite T-shirts, this patchwork bandana shirt is influenced by traditional Japanese haori jackets and fastens with ties instead of buttons. Does Mr John Mayer already own it? We can neither confirm nor deny.

Inspired by the art of boro – where textiles are reworked and pieced together – this bandana belt bag is sewn in Japan from cuttings of soft, natural cotton – so you can imagine how light it feels strapped around your shoulder. Is it the most practical bag ever? Well, it certainly won’t carry your laptop, but your phone, wallet and AirPods are good to go.

Jeans really are this brand’s bread and butter and we’ll go as far to say that this pair is perfect. The homespun feel of them means you could try and blag some creative mend, repair and upcycling skills to your mates, too.

How many pairs of sweatpants is too many? Well, these ones certainly deserve some time out of the house. They’re chunkily knitted with the same boro influence and have a dropped, relaxed fit that feels effortless and, perhaps even more pertinently, comfortable.

Is this the coolest flannel shirt we’ve ever seen? It’s certainly up there. Ditch your usual checks in favour of this bolder damask-inspired version and you won’t regret it. Yes, you run the slight risk of being confused for your grandmother’s drapes by those less style conscious than yourself, but that dear readers, is a risk we’re willing to take.

Mr Hirata’s love of collecting authentic vintage items often plays a role in KAPITAL’s collections. Emblazoned with the recurring bandana print, this padded gilet has perfectly imperfect squares and, showcasing the brand’s penchant for small but interesting details, a quirky zip pull that warrants a zoom in.

Pricked with colourful cacti, this shirt is one of those that you didn’t know you needed until you just laid eyes on it. The spiky plants are on the sleeves and back, too so it’s a winner from every angle.

You’ve probably got a few trusty grey sweatshirts in your wardrobe, but have you got one printed with a piano player to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Mr Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth and fitted with smiley-faced elbow patches? No, didn’t think so.

Ah, right back to where we started. Less hate-wear, more happy-wear, this T-shirt gives us the warm and fuzzies. Should you need any further convincing than the beaming face on the front, the back reels off a Mahatma Gandhi quote, too.