Dirt Bikes, Dust, and Denim Feature in Kapital Kountry’s “Sunset Riders”

From Kapital photographer Eric Kvatek:


Kapital’s Kountry shoot is for the higher end, typically distressed denim line. As such, it is typically somewhat off the wall. Past Kountry shoots involved pornographic biker imagery, a Free Tibet theme that immediately prompted death threats and even worse and conversely a fairly boring attempt at an all denim baseball game that was shut down by the police.

For Kountry 2024, Kiro requested vintage motocross which pleased me greatly as I actually remember and love motocross from the 70s and 80s. One of the first bikes I road was a Suzuki DS 185. I immediately began collecting vintage motocross props and scoured southern California for vintage looking dirt bike tracks.

Kiro’s designs focused on padded denim motocross gear, racing inspired jackets, and checkered winner’s flag themed garments. The shoot was a blend of motocross tomfoolery and general 1970’s red neck hijinks inspired by memories from my youth. The gang of friends and friends of friends I assembled rose to the occasion and did not disappoint.

Just before the shoot, Kiro learned that his father had cancer. So unbeknownst to the crew, Kiro and I were dedicating this photo shoot and video to his father. To say that we put our hearts and souls into it is stating it mildly.

Kiro’s father, Toshikiyo Hirata, the founder of Kapital was a fairly stoic man. Despite being a pioneer of Japanese denim, he was not interested in accolades. What he really loved was the factory and at the end of the day, hanging out with the workers. I was fortunate to know him for twenty years. Despite a language barrier, we bonded over a shared love of beer, sushi, and vintage denim.

He will be greatly missed.

Pieces of the Kountry Collection are currently available at Blue in Green. You can see more from Eric’s behind the scenes on his Instagram.