Ennio Capasa was born in 1960. He graduated from Milan's Academy of Fine Arts around 1978. His parents had a hip boutique called Smart in the 1950's.
When he was 18 years old, he travelled through the East for a year. He trained for three years with Yohji Yamamoto in Japan from 1982 to 1985 where the practice was to pare details away from a design and take inspiration from traditional cutting techniques.
Capasa returned to Milan in 1986 and started his own firm, in partnership with his brother Carlo, calling it Costume National. It combines his perception of Japanese purism with a sexier close-fitting silhouette influenced by street fashion. They started with women’s wear, followed two years later by menswear.
They did not find much interest in Italy, so in 1991 they moved to Paris where they found success. Their women’s wear proved very popular, so in 1993 they branched out into menswear also.
In 2002 Costume National launched their fragrance and body beauty products line, followed by Eyewear in 2003. They control their own shoe factory in Padua, and a leather treatment company. It terms of footwear, Costume National is now probably the biggest selling independent fashion house. Shoes represent one third of all their sales, close to 100,000 pairs a year.
Costume National controls it's own future. Two decades after leaving his home town, Capasa is the guiding hand behind a $ 50 million business. They have opened stores in Tokyo, Rome, New York and other major cities of the world.
Capasa has reinvented classicism with his strict tailoring, edgy finish, sexy sense and unique feeling for tough chic. The year saw the creation of Costume National Black Label a line using rare fabrics and hand skills within the women’s wear collection.