In the Beginning
The history of Kappa extends back to 1916 in Turin, Italy when Abramo Vitale began making socks from his farmhouse under the name of Societa Anonima “Calzificio Torinese”. It was in 1956 that the business reached a turning point. A manufacturing error led to customers returning the socks due to a quality issue, causing Vitale to consider a way forward.
A superior quality control procedure was put in place and the new products were marked with ‘K-Kontroll’ which successfully reinstalled confidence in the customers. In 1958, as the products became the leaders in the Italian socks and underwear market, and a new brand name was introduced and trademarked, Kappa® was born.
The Birth of the ‘Omini’ Logo
During a Beatrix swimwear catalogue photo shoot, the now world-renowned ‘Omini’ logo was accidentally created. Photographer, Sergio Druetto, captured the image of a naked male and female model sitting back-to-back. The dramatic silhouette was created due to his camera flash jamming, leading to the stylised emblem, selected to become the new emblem for the brand and coined the ‘Omini’ logo.
Kappa® ‘Omini’ logo, Original picture by photographer Sergio Druetto. Limited edition print of the work. Serial no: 091/100.
Entry into Sportswear and Beyond
As a first in both the brands and Italian football history, 1979 saw the Juventus FC team kit adorned with the Kappa logo as part of a sponsorship deal. This move into sportswear saw the beginning of a new age for Kappa and the start of a blooming relationship with the world of sport.
Zinedine Zidane of the Juventus FC Team wearing the Kappa sponsored kit.
The world of football naturally became a growing market, but sights were set on other sports too, and in 1981 the ‘Omini’ logo embellished the US Track and Field National Team at the USSR-USA Leningrad competition. The team’s kit detailed the brand new 222 Banda, its first outing and introduction to a wide audience.
Florence Griffith of the US Olympic Team wearing the Kappa Banda kit.
The 1984 Olympics was to be the next global stage for the Kappa Banda, now featured on the US Team kit having been designed in consultation with a NASA scientist to marry sports and technology. Then at the Seoul 1988 Olympics, the US team paved the way to victory whilst wearing the now infamous logo. Stars such as Florence Griffith and Carl Lewis inspired the crowds leading to an upsurge in desire for Kappa, opening the markets further for the brand.
New Technology for the Home Team
Kappa continued its exploration of utilising technology in sportswear with a bold move to revolutionise the kit of the Italian National Football Team. Using technology, a new fabric was developed, the Kombat 2000, with elastomers which made a dramatic move away from the baggy shirts of the times to a more slimline and flexible profile.
Alessandro Nesta wearing the newly designed Italian National Football kit.
All Sports, All People
Whilst the connection with football is a key part of the brand’s heritage, Kappa has gone beyond the beautiful game to serve elite performers across the sporting world. From sponsorships within the world of rugby, basketball, rowing, and beyond, to the slopes as the sponsor of the FISI Italian Winter Sports since 2011. The ‘Omini’ logo has been seen across all sports as Kappa® has been and continues to be for people on the move.
Italian National Rugby Team wearing the sponsored kit in 2008.
The Future of Kappa®
Kappa continues to build relationships with new sponsorships and community activations. In 2021, the #KeepPerforming initiative was launched to encourage people to explore new horizons and perform at their best.
With a proudness in the legacy created since 1958, Kappa collaborated with skate brand Palace in 2021 to combine street sport with the nostalgic style of the ‘80s to ‘00s. In 2022, further exploration of the sporting field led Kappa® to become the proud sponsor of the Alpine Formula 1 Team, acknowledging the brand’s history of teaming technology with innovative sportswear for the drivers off track, and all the technical and operational teams.
Kappa is the Official Partner of Alpine Formula 1
The brand continues its campaign to not only serve elite athletes but also its wider communities, being accessible to those who play or love the game at any level.