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Kapital - hippies, Japanese farmers and post-apocalypse survivors

KamoteJoe

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Got to catch up with this thread and appreciated @BandannAlmanac's insights into the perceived drop in Kapital's quality which I agree with. I used to religiously check their releases when they were pumping out new ideas but now each release looks like a lazy rehash of past concepts. My most recent purchase from Kapital was the drunk stripe coverall which has a wonderful print, but the canvas had that swatch fabric quality that was mentioned. When they created the most bonkers pieces, my jaw would literally drop.

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I don't think this has been mentioned but their unique storytelling and worldbuilding via their lookbook seems to have faded into the background. Some of my favorite ones were Sailor Ninja, Peace Pilgrim, and Denim Perth because the modeled clothes felt like portals into another world. Even the Kapital World documentary was an amazing watch for anyone across the spectrum of interest.

That's just my take though. I'm just a stranger on some internet forum and am genuinely glad to see them have a widespread following. I'll stick to the older, weirder stuff and stay away from the bandanas and skulls.
 

Timbaland

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Its not surprising that Kapital's quality and creativity has dropped as @BandannAlmanac and @KamoteJoe have mentioned. I think Bandanna alluded to it earlier but it happens when a company grows and Kapital has grown exponentially. 10+ years ago I hardly saw it in any stores (Unionmade was the only one I remember), now it's sold worldwide and pretty easy to find online.

Same thing happened to Uniqlo when it expanded from B&M stores in NY to selling across the whole US. At least they didn't raise prices. I don't even bother with them anymore other than for socks/underwear. Same thing is happening with forum favorite John Elliott, they've significantly raised their prices while quality has gone down.

Kapital is re-doing what sells the best like the smiley face stuff. On one hand it's great for the Hirata family as they are (deservedly) making more and it is still interesting enough to people who just recently discovered the brand. On the other hand it sucks for people who have been following the brand for years and who already have a lot of their stuff.

One thing I will give them credit for is they haven't significantly raised prices as they expanded (at least on their webstore from since when I've started following them). Maybe it's because they sell direct to consumer in Japan, but it's hard to find brands as interesting as Kapital with their price points in the US. Ring coat is under $400. The printed fleece that isn't very good is under $300. An American brand would easily charge $400 or $500.

Are there any other similarly interesting brands in a similar price range? I haven't found any besides 18 east but that has been heading more towards skatewear recently.
 

BandannAlmanac

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@KamoteJoe
Those wool bombers were a great piece, those sold out so quick too. Never understood why they didn't repeat making those or even a boro bomber or something... more lazy rehashes is exactly what most long-term fans and employees complain about.

@Timbaland
They certainly have grown in notoriety and definitely a hyped brand. Not sure what sort of growth you were referring to but, the company hasn't grown physically. They have roughly the same number of employees they had for the 7 years I worked for them. If anything the company has technically become a bit smaller since a number of stores closed over the last 5 years. The turnover rate for them has increased, there are only a handful (4-5 people) of staff that have stayed more than 10 years. Kapital is a tough place to work...😒. They make way more of less variety than they used to. The majority of products are not new but from their repro line ie. nouvelle pants, smile tees, standard denim, etc etc. stuff they have made before that sells consistently.

There are no brands that can run their own sewing factory and do OEM business on the scale of companies like Kapital. It would just be so costly to build a production facility from scratch for the narrow margins of apparel. Kapital has the advantage of running all their own production, if they outsourced it all it would be at Visvim prices. (which is why I once went on and on about the Kamakura mountain parka, technically speaking its a very difficult piece to manufacture and if you outsourced that it would be incredibly expensive to sell) Thats also the reason you won't see similar brands to Kapital in the same price range. Nor will you see similar clothing, nobody is going to take a financial risk of making clothing that may or may not sell. That is why the entire industry is based around ODM production, and basically the only reason large apparel companies make any money.

Anyways just my two cents on the whole thing...
 

cdecoy

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🤤 that butterfly bomber is one of my grails. Been on the lookout for a while.
 

Timbaland

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@BandannAlmanac I was referring to the total number of units of clothing they produce/sell when I mentioned growth. I figured the people in the factories they own are working more hours or they hired more to produce the larger quantities. I'm not aware of any companies that significantly ramped up their production and kept up the quality level. (not saying they don't exist)

I've also seen brands get hype/notoriety and increase their margins. Kapital doesn't seem to have done this.

I also wish Kapital would make more boro patchwork, or sashiko items, they do it so well. Other brands (FDMTL and Blue Blue Japan) comparatively just look bad. Some of the bags they made years ago were so beautiful
 

Hellanormcore

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🤤 that butterfly bomber is one of my grails. Been on the lookout for a while.
I keep kicking myself I didn't pick one up in my size when it showed up on Y!Jp a few years back in black. It sat for months too.
 

clemente21

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Does anyone have experience with the "westerner" denim jackets? I've been looking for a selvedge Lee 101J version for a while and it looks pretty good.
 

peachfuzzmcgee

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Does anyone have experience with the "westerner" denim jackets? I've been looking for a selvedge Lee 101J version for a while and it looks pretty good.
frankly if I were you, I’d get a vintage lee 101j. Remember to get a long version otherwise it’ll be cropped more than most like, it will still be cropped but not as bad. The kapital one is fine but even the 14oz version doesn’t feel as nice or as weighty as a legit 101j. If you are in the US p, you can easily find em for less than 100 bucks in great condition.
 

clemente21

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frankly if I were you, I’d get a vintage lee 101j. Remember to get a long version otherwise it’ll be cropped more than most like, it will still be cropped but not as bad. The kapital one is fine but even the 14oz version doesn’t feel as nice or as weighty as a legit 101j. If you are in the US p, you can easily find em for less than 100 bucks in great condition.
I have a couple of vintage 101s, but I like the idea of starting something from scratch and really beating it up as a change of pace too.
 

HOT Sriracha

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Does anyone know if the Old Man & the Sea bucket hat fits big heads (size 7 5/8 & larger)?

Its listed as one size.
 

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