Kampai The Handmade Clothing Pendant
Kampai is a clothing adornment brand born from Newcastle. The brand is founded by denim and outerwear collector Ed Smith in 2018. The brand creates handmade military-style pendants designed to be worn on the chest flap pocket of jackets.
Kampai was inspired by a trip to Tokyo in Japan in January 2018. Japan’s wealth of textile and workwear masters had a profound effect and sparked a hunger in Ed Smith to start his own handmade project. Archive clothing and antique or vintage militaria have always been a huge interest of Ed. Since he was a young kid he was hunting for stuff on markets and thrift stores that he could pin on his jacket.
During his tens year in menswear, he never came across a newly made jacket adornment. That’s how he came up with his Kampai idea. On his return from Japan, he signed up for a denim masterclass at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, to learn the skills. He met Han and David who gave immediate support to the idea and allowed him to recycle the workshop’s denim offcuts to create the first samples.
Using vintage sewing machines, the pendants are handmade from ribbons of 12oz indigo selvedge denim and textured herringbone fabric. Every design is stitched and hand-assembled by Darned Fine. A specialist who runs a denim studio by workwear tailor Mick Dixon in Ouseburn, Newcastle. The metal components includes dungaree fasteners, decorative stars, and toothed clamps to hold the pieces together. They’re cast from white and silicon bronze by experts at Devon Metalcrafts. Non-ferrous techniques are used to create high-quality bronze that, like the fabric, only betters with age. The brand launched it’s first four designs in August 2018. The full collection is set to be released later this year.