The Italian sportswear brand Robe di Kappa participated the last June edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo by launching its new s/s 2023 collection inspired by the same preppy taste that was born in the US colleges of New England, also known as “varsity”.

By visiting its own archives and tracing back its history, the brand was born in 1969 when Maurizio Vitale, at that time a young 23-year-old CEO of an old textiles company, recognized his peers’ desire to break from the old formal conventions in the years of the students’ movement, of marches for peace and sit-ins in front of the White House, while they simply wanted to wear unisex and casual clothes.




He then took a stock of T-shirts from a warehouse of unsold merchandise and had them all dyed in military green sewing army tabs and stars on to them. They were an unprecedented success. Every young Italian wanted one of those T-shirts: the Robe di Kappa brand was born.

Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Photo: Robe di Kappa
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
The same taste is recalling the attention of today's young kids willing to express themselves freely, and is back now for s/s 2023. It is aimed at the youngest generations looking for similar evergreen polo shirts, clean and contemporary sweaters and sweatshirts now reinterpreted with Aran motives or piquet surface effects in a a series of bright colors like yellow, purple amaranth, green, cream and more hues.
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Photo: Robe di Kappa
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
The new 33-piece collection - within the company called “Robe Giovani” (meaning “young stuff") - is back with the same aim to recall the very young’s attention while offering chinos, vests (also worn directly on the skin), varsity jackets, shorts and sweatshirts and matching jogger pants. Completing the offer are also oversize T-shirts, Oxford shirts, bowling shirts and cardigans with multicolor ribbed wrists.
Lorenzo Boglione, vicepresident, Basic Net Spa
Photo: Basic Net
Lorenzo Boglione, vicepresident, Basic Net Spa
Lorenzo Boglione, vicepresident, BasicNet SpA and son of Marco, founder  and president of Basic Net, the company that owns the brands Robe di Kappa, Jesus Jeans, K-Way, Superga, Sabelt, Briko and Sebago, explained why the company has revamped the brand.




Why did you choose to relaunch Robe di Kappa?
We are a company that offers products we hope people like and buy. We started offering these pieces with the same aim as in the past as we wanted to reach the younger consumers.

Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Photo: Robe di Kappa
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
 Is this collection also meant to be sold outside of Italy?
We decided to create a new and more modern collection that can also be appealing to the young consumers. Then we decided to bring it to Pitti Uomo, that remains the most important platform for presenting it to an international audience.




The Kappa brand is generally well-known because it is worn widely in the sport field internationally, as is its two “omini” logo, too. Robe di Kappa, instead, is less known outside of Italy as it was born - and is mostly known - in Italy. Thanks to this new initiative we aim to reach expand it internationally, too, as we operate in 130 countries worldwide.





How did you proceed? Where did you find inspiration for it?
All of our brands have a great history behind of them and, as we are not a designer company, we often look for inspiration by searching through our archives in order to discover, renew and make products become contemporary by reinventing our past.

Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Photo: Robe di Kappa
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Within the last Pitti you also held a workshop where you recreated new polo shirts made by upcycling old ones through the patchwork technique. Are ecofriendly products also part of this relaunch?
We are not obsessed by this aspect. We do our best to select the best fabrics and solutions available but we are quite skeptical in using it unstoppingly and constantly as a communication tool. 





That workshop was neither meant to promote circularity nor purposely push some sort of sustainable product, but rather involve a young creative play with our colors and logos.

A Robe di Kappa polo made by upcycling old shirts
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
A Robe di Kappa polo made by upcycling old shirts
Is this a one-shot capsule or will it continue?
It is not a one-shot project. In Italy alone we have 100 Robe di Kappa stores. For this it will continue it for future seasons.
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Photo: Robe di Kappa
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
What about its name? Where does the “Robe Giovani” inside name stay for?
It’s its name from the past. At that time it was called like that as they wanted to target the young people, who didn’t buy their products. We think this name could work fine today as well, as many products from our archives, just like many other apparel phenomena from the past are coming back.  






What about prices? Did you do an upgrade with this collection? 
No, we are not thinking of making an upgrade as we think this one is a very complex time but it’s not the case to raise prices. For sure it is focused on a very good price-quality ratio, as all of the products in our company.

Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Photo: Robe di Kappa
Robe di Kappa s/s 2023
Is s/s 2023 the first collection for this project?
We started it three seasons ago as a sort of test and for s/s 2023 it became a whole complete collection. 






Will you include more product categories in the future?
For f/w we will also offer more pieces, including for instance, knitwear and heavier tops.




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