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Kapital’s “Yardie Blues” Lookbook Meanders Through Jamaica and Misadventure

The denim genies and craft-masters Kapital are back for SS19 with a new look book with menswear stalwart Eric Kvatek behind the lens once again. Marking his 15th years with the brand, Kvatek shot the ‘Yardie Blues’ lookbook on location in Jamaica. Admittedly, this wasn’t a location he had ever thought about shooting nor was it a place he particularly wanted to visit. But, while scouting for locations in Jamaica, he immersed himself in the culture by listening to social commentary via island radio stations, attending dance halls and drinking with the locals. Earning himself the nickname ‘cowboy’ and ‘farmer’, Eric became a fan of Reggae artists like Barrington Levy and Junior Reid.

Something that struck Eric during the time he spent shooting the lookbook was the commitment of people like Bob Marley and his wife Rita. Despite an assassination attempt on their lives in Jamaica, Bob still turned up and honored his commitment to perform shortly afterward. Drawing a parallel to the dedication and commitment Kapital designer Kiro Hirata, who worked every day for a year in order to design two collections simultaneously.

This symbolic shoot reflects Kvatek’s journey with Kapital over the last 15 years. The word ‘Yardie’ is Jamaican slang for a local gang, group, or ‘band of ruffians’, Eric comments. And having cast travelers and locals that “embodied the spirit of strength, perseverance and victory”, this gang of trouble makers and the garments they wear is a perfect testament to Kvatek and Kiro’s continued collaboration as a part of arguably the most creative and daring denim brand of recent years.