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Eric Kvatek Shoots Provocative Lookbook For Kapital Kountry

Before we get into the substance of Kapital KOUNTRY’s latest lookbook, it’s probably important to establish some context around them, primarily because they’re not really like any other in the genre and also because this one has caused a bit of an online stir.

For starters, not every look has the presumption of being emulated—they’re not like J. Crew catalogs, with head-to-toe conversion ambitions. Also, in regards to Vibes™, they tend to lean towards TURBO, not Weekend. And they don’t traffic in comfort, which goes for both the participants and the audience. So in that way, the content that runs alongside the imprint isn’t a digestif or a tonic—it often goes down like tequila, no lime or, for some, maybe a line of blow cut with like whole fennel seeds.

And because consuming a KOUNTRY lookbook is to be both confused and enthused, frustrated and elated, if you aren’t offended by one, at least ever so slightly, they probably didn’t go for it as hard as they would’ve liked to. All of that is to say, once again, that this latest entrant into the canon is Controversial. In a number of ways*.

(*For those that want to know (a lot) more about what happened, check out the latest episode of Blowout, with Kapital photographer Eric Kvatek. This probably isn’t the venue for parsing it all, but the Cliff Notes are this: Kapital included some pieces in this collection that say “Free Tibet” in various ways. For geopolitical reasons far too complicated to responsibly explain in a lookbook writeup, a lot of folks online didn’t react positively, causing Kapital to ultimately pull the images above and, reportedly, cancel some of the products featured. This isn’t to dismiss any side in any capacity — it’s specifically the opposite, to acknowledge something that’s happening outside the confines of these pages. But again, there are more apt mediums for further explanation, and we do encourage you to lean on those.)

But let’s focus on the pictures and the clothes in them, mostly because we can, but also because we’ve discussed the aforementioned controversy on other mediums. Piggybacking off skateboarding’s debut in the 2020 Olympics** and split between empty Southern California pools and an iconic club called Jumbo’s Clown Room — purveyors of a very specific variety of exotic dancing, for those wondering, but also not really a strip club — this one brings skateboarders, pole dancing, some premier patchwork, and classic Kapital motifs together to create a killer summer book that’s a little unhinged, a little unexpected and entirely KOUNTRY.

(**Which are taking place this year, just for those not engaging. Yes, it is 2021, but the logo was good. I have no idea if that’s why they didn’t change things, but I assume it was.)

From photographer Eric Kvatek: “My challenge as the photographer was to find locations and cohorts to make Kiro’s vision make sense in photos. L.A. ended [up] providing the perfect setting and an amazing mix of local talent.”

And per Kvatek, real skateboarders were used for the shoot, which is always preferred, and also shines through considering that no one looks dumb while on their skateboard (a legitimate danger in a genre shoot).

Anyways, clothing. The Boro patchwork jeans are the star of the show — they know it, we know it, why pretend otherwise — though sleepers are always more fun, so let’s go through those. That linen-blend tiger-leopard-print cardigan is back, but in a pullover iteration, so that’s important. And because it’s been so hot this summer that New York weather now mimics equatorial climates, those half leopard print, half-striped shorts will be living rent-free in my head for the foreseeable future.

There’s also a wild leopard-print coat that I’d be remiss not to clock, a patchwork pullover joint with fat drawcords that seems great, a jeans-jacket combo with massive basketweave cutouts, some Frankenmules that are straight-up hypnotizing, a fair isle sweater that I hope comes in bigger sizes (that’s all I have on that one, sorry ¯\_()_/¯), a striped set that’ll make you look like you own a yoga retreat (but like a cool one?) and a bucket hat that flipped the Thrasher font into “Free Tibet” and launched a thousand IG comments.

Is it as wild as Fukkin Kountry (still NSFW, for those that forgot)? Not quite, but it’s still unmistakably Kapital.

Check out the whole lookbook shot by Eric Kvatek above.