Vintage Kappa posters from Italian highlights sport brand's influence
High-energy sportswear brand Kappa is still as young as ever. Let’s be honest, there was a time when wearing Kappa was left to the school pikeys. Every profitable brand has its relevance though, and Kappa’s is one that lives on. In the 90s, whilst being a strong mainstay for high-street youngsters worldwide, Kappa was the ironic brand to rock when it came to indie music’s darlings. There was a point where Damon Albarn wouldn’t be seen without his flouro Kappa zip-up and as the early Noughties came around, the company logo became a thing of culture. You could say that the logo, like the brand’s success, was an accident in itself. After all, Kappa started out in 1916 as an underwear manufacturer but soon morphed into a sportswear giant of its own, and it’s the logo that’s helped it become so popular. “The logo known as the 'omini' is a silhouette of a man and woman sitting back to back in the nude,” Kappa HQ explains. “After a photo shoot for a bathing suit ad, the outlines of their bodies were traced by the back-lighting and the photographers knew they had something. It symbolizes the mutual support between Man and Woman, and their completion”.
It sounds ideal for a label so immersed in all things active and for those who don’t know, it’s not just the logo and colourful zip-up tops that have made the brand relevant at some point or another. Kappa is Italian and its individual heritage lies in football: “We are known to most people as a football brand and for good reason,” the brand HQ says. “Kappa was the first brand to officially sponsor a football club - as opposed to just manufacture the kit - and over the years we have kitted out some of the biggest clubs in Europe such as Barcelona, Roma, Valencia, Tottenham Spurs, Manchester City and the Italian National team”. But the brand is about much more than football pitch gear only they insist. “Robe Di Kappa is our off-the-field casual wear. It offers lambs wool sweaters, cotton piquet polos and even jeans. We realise that technical sportswear isn’t the best thing to socialize in so we design casual wear too”. This is all great but for most fashion fans the fun in sportswear is referencing it in a contemporary way and Kappa, with its array of colourful clothing could easily be the one you’ll have the most fun with. Just remember, you’re not a 90s school kid anymore, so behave please.