Kappa has a rich history from its beginnings in 1958 in Turin, Italy, and has always been committed to upholding its Italian heritage. Since then, it has become an iconic name within the sports world, with its recognisable logo seen across the globe on pitches, courts, and tracks, with its appeal spilling out onto the streets and even the runway. And like everything Kappa, the story behind the infamous ‘Omini’ logo is driven by creativity and playing with the unexpected to create success.
The Creation of the ‘Omini’ Logo
The world-renowned emblem of a naked male and female sitting back-to-back was discovered during a Beatrix swimwear photo shoot in 1969. The photographer, Sergio Druetto, captured the distinctive image when the flash of his camera jammed, accidentally creating the silhouette of the two models.
The shape of their body profiles contrasting against the backlighting inspired the iconic ‘Omini’ logo. Empowered by the colour red, the logo, without any wording, was a symbol of equality between men and women.
Kappa® ‘Omini’ logo, Original picture by photographer Sergio Druetto. Limited edition print of the work. Serial no: 091/100.
The Evolution of the Logo
Since the birth of the ‘Omini’ logo in 1969 and the success that followed, there has been little need to change the infamous back-to-back icon. Over the years, small changes have been adopted to modernise it further, with the addition of word type stating ‘Kappa Sport’ in 1978, with ‘Sport’ later being dropped in 1981, to land on a more simplistic style with the ‘Omini’ logo and the word ‘Kappa’ written underneath.
Into the ‘80s the typeface was updated to a bolder, stronger, and more modern font, bringing the design further into contemporary design. Finally, in 1994, the solid red figures and type were instead changed to white, keeping a red outline to freshen it further. Since there has been a return to the heritage logo, the simplicity of the solid silhouettes in block red without any type is as impactful now as it was in its early days.
The ‘Omini’ logo through the years.
The 50th Anniversary
The 50th anniversary of the ‘Omini’ logo in 2019 was marked by a celebration of the human form in the distinctive and renowned back-to-back seated formation. A live performance curated by Neville Wakefield with Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft was held at Art Basel in Miami. Through 50 different interactions, the Kappa trademark was reinterpreted through couples sitting back-to-back and moving in synchrony.
Couple sitting back-to-back as part of the live performance to celebrate the 50th Anniversary
A live performance reinterpreting the trademark ‘Omini’ logo curated by Neville Wakefield with Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft
A Logo for the Future
Kappa remains true to its heritage and the distinctive ‘Omini’ logo, while adapting and recognising opportunities to further spread the Kappa® message.
In 2016, Kappa undertook its first co-branding when designer, Gosha Rubchinskiy chose Kappa for the catwalk. This confirmed the brand’s appeal within the lifestyle sector and opened the way for many more collaborations beginning with Argentine designer and DJ, Marcelo Burlon, Faith Connexion, Awake, Juicy Couture, and many more.
At Pitti Uomo in Florence, Gosha Rubchinskiy chose Kappa ® for the catwalk.
In 2020, Kappa recognised the difficulty the world was facing due to the pandemic and temporarily altered the ‘Omini’ logo to reflect the need for social distancing. Whilst the iconic symbol reiterated the importance of this action, the spirit of Kappa focussed on keeping people together through community around the world.
The reimagined ‘Omini’ logo for the pandemic
Kappa continues to promote the famed ‘Omini’ logo finding partnerships that reflect the brand’s devotion to sport, and the lifestyle of the fans within those sporting communities. With creativity at the heart, the ‘Omini’ logo still resonates today, continuing to represent style, technical quality, and community.