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«I'm a hyperactive creative, productive, guy with thousand ideas a week.»

Flirt with the shirt

Established in the heart of Ticino, Old Captain Co. has created a complete design ecosystem for shirts that incorporates only locals for every production step along the way. From design to manufacturing, nothing happens more than 1km away from home. Yari Copt is a Lugano based manufacturer of premium Swiss made shirts for active and creative people. Yari himself lives coolness, creativity, hyperactivity, and is a passionate expert in craftsmanship that can be seen in every of his handmade shirt. He tells us more about…

What is Old Captain Co.? Explained in one sentence…
Old Captain Co. is a Lugano based manufacturer of premium Swiss Made dress shirts for active and creative people.

How did you end up with shirts?
I’ve always been a natural entrepreneur and creative person. At the age of 19, I opened my first skate shop, had an own radio show, and sang in bands. Music, art, and sport have allowed me to discover the world and ultimately, inspired me to create a brand that encompasses the influence of my passions and allows me to be creative and productive all around – 360° style.

What was the first step to develop the idea?
Two weeks after deciding to do shirts, I discovered that there were more than 700 people working on 60’s shirts in Ticino. So, I thought, and bought some old machines from a foreclosed factory, and started to layout a shirt collection in a small fashion factory in Lugano. Then, I travelled to Milano and attended the Milano Unica (fabric tradeshow), when I met a small high-quality fabric producer whom I started collaborating with. I designed the cuts, patterned with some young talent the exclusive prints, and produced the first prototypes.

What defines a good shirt?
Good fit, exclusive fabric, locally made. Overall, high quality better made in Switzerland.

Old Captain's sign

Trendy or timeless?
The good balance of both. Although, I don’t follow trends. We design shirts because we like to wear them. We have some classic designs that you will wear forever and some fresh ones that make you feel hip. 

Who is part of the core team today?
I still manage every aspect of the brand alone but I have a wonderful work force of talented, young professionals who help me out – like the list of artists for the exclusive print shirts. 

Why does the world need your products and solutions?
I make shirts because most of the high-quality brands were boring, and the fun brands have bad quality. So, I came and closed the gap. My shirts are high-quality, locally made, and represent a brand that you can fall in love with. You buy less but better – which helps the planet too. 

How do you come up with new ideas, is there a ritual, or does it happen by itself?
I'm a hyperactive creative, productive, guy with thousand ideas a week. Thank god, I can channel lots of them in Old Captain. My mind is always a tornado of ideas, and I'm kind of restless. I'll sleep when I'm dead, is kind of my motto. Yeah, man.

What does your workplace look like?
I have no real office but I have the factory, go to tradeshows, and work from home, or while traveling. I'm free and that's the most important value on being self-employed.

What are your next projects?
I'm gonna add a «smart stock» for the website, so «my wanderers» (clients) will be able to order online custom-made pieces. It will also work for shirts deriving from the collection with classic sizes and cuts. Furthermore, I’m planning on distributing internationally because we have some foreign shops wanting to sell our shirts around the world. Then, the release of the 5th album of my band Those Furious Flames, keep DJing, and working on a secret photo book project which is huge but I can't talk about it, yet.

What are the 3 things you recommend to friends who want to do/eat/experience/buy in your region?
There is so much growth in Ticino at the moment: new amazing restaurants and bars, hiking in the mountains, or relax at the lake, and so many small producers doing good shit. Hit me up if you need anything!

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