Kappa® is one of the world's leading sportswear and lifestyle brands: a technical, non-conformist, colourful, flexible, competent, global and Italian brand.
In 1956 a defective stock of socks manufactured by the Maglificio Calzaturificio Torinese (MCT), a company founded by Abramo Vitale in 1916, was wrongly distributed on the market. Retailers returned the goods and MCT, in order to give the product renewed strength and credibility, marked the packaging of the new collection with a'K' and the German legend'Kontroll'. From that moment on, customers only ordered socks with the K - and in a short time Kappa® became a market leader in socks and underwear. In 1968, Kappa® continued to evolve after the events that would change history: Maurizio Vitale, 23, the founder's great-grandson and newly appointed CEO, saw John Lennon interviewed on television, dressed in a military shirt belonging to a victim of the Vietnam War. Thus he had an intuition destined to conquer an eager market for casual and unisex clothing: Maurizio Vitale had thousands of unsold T-shirts, which were in stores, dyed green and personalized with military stars and badges. It was the birth of the Robe di Kappa® brand - as the new products were called - that reached a vast audience of young consumers and entered the collective imagination with the creation of the "Omini" logo, the silhouette of a young couple sitting back to back, emphasizing how the polo, the icon of the new brand, is for both men and women.
The 1970s brought new changes in the tastes of young consumers. Marco Boglione, MCT's young commercial and marketing director, realised the demand for technical sportswear and convinced Maurizio Vitale to create a dedicated department, Robe di Kappa® Sport, renamed a few years later simply Kappa®. Over the next decade, the Kappa® brand established itself as the sports brand par excellence - in 1979 it was the technical sponsor of Juventus F.C. and equipped the U.S. national athletic team athletes at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and in Seoul in 1988.
Seven years after Maurizio Vitale's untimely death, the MCT went bankrupt. It was 1994, while Marco Boglione had become an entrepreneur and his company, Football Sport Merchandise, bought MCT. Boglione relaunched the Kappa®, Robe di Kappa® and Jesus Jeans brands thanks to a new business model fully integrated into the web and changed the company name to BasicNet. After a profound restructuring, the relaunch of Kappa® in the second half of the 1990s was a fundamental step in the evolution of the brand: Sportswear had become part of the everyday life of young people, and the 222 "band" tracksuit - the first with a vertical repetition of the logo, inspired by the costumes of American athletes - became the brand's icon, reaching maximum popularity especially in the United Kingdom, also thanks to the influence of Britpop, with Mel C (Spice Girls), Oasis and Damon Albarn (Blur), who carried Kappa® on the tracks as well as on stage conquering a whole generation.
Shortly before the year 2000 Kappa® started a new revolution and at the same time made a dream come true: it became the technical sponsor of the Italian football team and for the 2002 World Cup sent its champions to the pitch with the Kappa® KOMBAT, an innovative technical t-shirt made of the latest generation of elastic fabric that introduced the concept of "stop stop stop stop stop": if the opponent grabs a player's shirt, it allows the player to complete the game, as the fabric stretches up to one meter, with the first 30-40 cm completely inert. The amount of stretching also makes it easier for the referee to detect foul play. It was a real revolution that would change the rules of football around the world. Today, Kappa® sponsors nearly 100 of the world's leading football teams and sports federations - in Italy, the "Omini" thank the athletes of the Italian Winter Sports Federation and have participated in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with fencing, canoeing and martial arts costumes.
From sportswear to urban style: in 2016 - exactly 60 years after the creation of the brand - Kappa® returns to the world street style scene thanks to its iconic products that attracted the attention of international stylists and designers, generating important collaborations with Marcelo Burlon and Faith Connexion, which has given rise to a collection by the Russian designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy, whose collections, inspired by the post-USSR youth culture, are produced by Comme des Garçons, which included Kappa® in its Pitti exhibition. Today the Omini are part of the "youth culture" influenced by Selena Gomez, Lewis Hamilton and Kyle Jenner, among others, who choose to use Kappa® to inspire millions of followers and, once again, put the brand in the spotlight of a new contemporary aesthetic.