Founded in: 1984
Headquarters (HQ): Kojima, Japan
Kapital is a father and son brand founded in 1985 in the Okayama Prefecture in Japan. In the beginning, Kapital was started by Toshikiyo Hirata (Father) after traveling abroad to teach Karate in the United States, where he fell in love with mid-century American denim. Upon returning to Japan, he moved to Kojima, Kurashiki, where he immersed himself in the denim industry, soon becoming obsessed with the manufacturing process of denim. After a few years back in Japan, he opened his first denim factory in 1984, specializing in replicating the quality of mid-century American-made denim.
Toshikiyo's son Kiro decided to team up with his father in 2002 to navigate the brand into more contemporary times. Since then, the two have trusted one another to work separate areas of the brand (Kiro in design/marketing & Toshikiyo in production). Kapital has progressed under their collaborative efforts into a more integrated entity while retaining its core expertise as one of the world's best denim manufacturers.
Although Toshikiyo's obsession lies with denim and remains the brand's core, it is not the only thing they specialize in. Ever since Kiro joined, Kapital has taken a turn for the better. The brand has expanded into other spaces, experimenting with dyes (natural and synthetic), cut & sewed garments, hand over stitching, and much more, including the incorporation of Kiro's obsession, bandanas! He says, "for me personally, jeans and bandanas are both essential items when talking about work-wear… In my generation, I want to put as much passion into bandanas as my father put into jeans".
Kapital is a humble brand with passionate founders. They are not worried about expanding globally too quickly or compromising their principals. As long as they remain faithful to their work, their brand's natural progression will come with it along the way.
Written By Alex Sturla