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Robe di Kappa's archive of the 70s returns with a new collection

The unisex basic brand that marked a generation lands in 2021

Robe di Kappa's archive of the 70s returns with a new collection The unisex basic brand that marked a generation lands in 2021

This year among the street styles of fashion week and in Instagram feeds the varsity jacket was one of the most recurring elements on influencers and fashion personalities. On the basis of the vintage craze, the fashion industry has looked to the vintage style par excellence, the classic and varied world of American preppy of which in Italy during the 70s and 80s Robe di Kappa was the main representative. Today that same aesthetic has been translated and updated for our time by the new line of Robe by Kappa that re-proposes the style of Italian preppy launched forty years ago by the brand itself and which represented a turning point for the fashion of our country.

Leonardo Colacicco of LC23 and Jacopo Pozzati were the consultants who re-edition and remixed the brand's archives for the new collection, now adapting an original design of '92, now another of the '70s or applying on a cardigan the embroideries created in '84. The idea behind the collection is to recover and enhance an archive that is indeed part of the history of Italian pop fashion, but that can still speak to today's world if reinterpreted through the perspective of basics. 

Transforming the single basic garment into an easily recombinant element to create new looks is at the bottom of the brand, born in '68 selling t-shirts, and following the intuition of the founder Maurizio Vitale who had foreseen the imminent arrival of casualwear culture among the young people of his generation who would have liked to express themselves with their clothes. In those days the idea of the basic was a break with tradition, jeans and white t-shirts were a symbol of youthful rebellion that was embodied, in the advertisements of the time, by the tongue-in-cheek campaigns of Oliviero Toscani that at one point cost the photographer some legal problems.

Over time the subversive charge of the basic was lost, but not their appeal that, during the 80s, now normalized by the new generations, found its reassuring faces in Antonio Cabrini and Marco Tardelli, who with their victory at the World Cup of '92 had made Italy forget the gloom of the years of lead inaugurating the return of economic prosperity in the country and the consolidation of that middle class of which Robe di Kappa it became, stylistically speaking, a native language.

On that blank canvas, the subcultures of the late 80s shaped the paninari, disengaged and fanatics of the latest fashions, and of yuppism made of sartorial staples and opulent sobriety. But beyond the subcultures, which teemed in the big cities, that common language became the daily bread of that vast galaxy that was the Italian province. Even today, looking at the vintage photos of the young people who grew up in those years, you can see how the advertisements of the time reflected the values and lifestyle of the first generation of Italians in blue jeans and white t-shirts, who experienced the opening of Italian culture towards international horizons with the enthusiasm and vitality that defined that era of economic growth and disengagement. 

Today the needs are different: on the one hand there is the Millennial and Gen Z market attracted by the world of vintage and looking for a realness on the part of fashion brands that must have history, values and above all identity; on the other hand there is the new fascination that the market nourishes for the basic, the sober and reliable essential garments that replace the scream of the logos with the quality of materials and constructions. A series of needs that the new collection collects, creating a series of monochromatic basics in shades of black, gray and cream that transport the casual and everyday elegance of the vintage collections of Robe di Kappa towards a contemporary direction, adding for example tailoring to the athletic vocabulary with a viscose suit but also winking at both vintage aesthetics and streetwear logomania with a brand tag now placed on  a sleeve, now on the back. The idea behind it always remains the same and that is that of freedom of expression - versatile and recombinant garments but with lines modern enough to form a self-conclusive vocabulary. A goal that therefore remains unchanged compared to the Robe di Kappa of the 80s but that is able to speak to a new generation.

The new collection by Robe di Kappa is available at this link.