The eternal myth of the Green Jacket

Scottie Scheffler won the Augusta Masters for the second time, wearing one of sport's most precious and symbolic awards

Amidst the gentle embrace of blooming azaleas, majestic pines and fragile magnolias, the first whispers of April once again unveiled a magical chapter for golf enthusiasts around the world. During four elegantly stressful days and 72 holes of rare significance, the hallowed grounds of the Augusta Masters Tournament once again celebrated the crème de la crème of international golf, allowing it to dance with its own epic fate.

Scottie Scheffler, 2024
Jon Rahm, 2023
Tiger Woods, 2019

Here, in Georgia, amid sanctified fairways and pristine greens, legends continue to be born and giants continue to crumble. Here, in the most sublime major, every greatest feat and slightest mistake is crystallized forever in the sporting annals. Time has taught that within the consecrated borders of Augusta National Golf Club, competitors compete not just for victory, but also for the universally coveted connection with the ‘Green Jacket’: a transversal symbol of golfing immortality, and beyond.

There are those who compare this place to Heaven, those who have had to drink rum to cope with its pressures, those who have glimpsed spirits and ghosts among its centuries-old trees… Because the ‘Green Jacket’ and the Augusta logo delicately engraved on its brass buttons are a testament to tradition, excellence and heritage that anyone has dreamed, if only for a second, of touching and wearing. The value of this garment, made of pure tropical wool, transcends mere monetary and aesthetic value, embodying the essence of prestige, and myth.

Sergio Garcia, 2017
Dustin Johnson, 2020

This year an imperial Scottie Scheffler succeeded, for the second time in his career, in winning the major founded in 1934 and embracing all its intangible meanings. Scheffler put a staggering prize money (over $3 million) in his pocket, but he also inherited again the splendor of an unparalleled object and the weight of its history, suspended in time. “You don’t come to Augusta to find your game. You come here because you’ve got one,” said pioneer Gene Sarazen, and Scheffler proved the greatness of his own Game, mastering the cerebral and emotional complexities of what, for many, if not all, is the most arduous tournament in the world.

Then, the American number 1 on the PGA Tour wore his second ‘Green Jacket’ with emotion and confirmed his status as an honorary member of the club. An elitist handover occurred, as tradition dicatates, through last year’s winner, Jon Rahm, during one of the most famous and fascinating award ceremonies. This photo gallery is a tribute to the ‘Green Jacket’ and its priceless prestige.

Credits

IMAGO / ABACAPRESS / ZUMA Wire / Xinhua

Filippo Libenzi


The majestic running parade of the Milan Marathon

Thanks to ASICS, we had the opportunity to depict a special edition of the Milan Marathon and the runners who took part to it

Piazza del Duomo glistens in golden majesty. In the modern elegance of this metropolis, heightened by an air of early spring, wave after wave of runners alternate their starts. The athletic spectacle mesmerizes the throngs of spectators with its cyclical motion, seamless and infinite. Enthusiasts, onlookers and passers-by bear witness to a flood of legs and arms, a colorful celebration of the most democratic of sports disciplines, represented in all its heterogeneity by the record-breaking Milan Marathon. Statistical data, like the 8,545 individual registrations and more than 4,000 relay foursomes, can’t begin to define the immense scope of this unprecedented event. It truly marks the evolution of the relationship between running and the Lombardy capital. And this evolution is on the rise, exalted by the considerable presence of international runners – professional and otherwise – as well as the functional aesthetics guaranteed by ASICS.

Our image gallery, produced in partnership with the ‘Anima Sana In Corpore Sano’ brand and Milano Marathon’s technical sponsor, portrays the tangible victories of Kenyan Titus Kipkosgei, and Ethiopian Tigist Memuye, stopping the clock at 2h07’12” and 2h26’32” respectively. In addition, it also highlights the intangible wonders of an athletic and communal parade punctuated by wide avenues and details of Sforzesco Castle, a colorful menagerie of people, and unique views like the finish line set a few steps from Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It is a journey into the essence of modern-day Milan, its running present and future, which we depict through our lens.


Kappa's never-ending story

From Calzificio Torinese to Kappa, BasicNet's historical archive gives us a sneak peek into its myths and secrets

Crossing the threshold of Turin’s Basic Village is like stepping into a portal through space and time. Before becoming the pulsating epicenter of the international BasicNet network, this impressive structure was the home of the legendary Maglificio Calzificio Torinese. Today, fashion culture, pop icons and athletic imagery intersect in furious motion. In the wide geometric spaces of this urban block dedicated to craftsmanship, a vast array of projections, memorabilia, textiles and anecdotes tell the story of a galaxy of brands as mythical as they are interwoven: a dream factory that’s set the world on fire, defining the ebb and flow of modern sports and their aesthetics.

The archive of this ongoing narrative began in wartime Italy in 1916 and has since branched out into countless languages; it is a vault that opens wide before our eyes, and its brand-manifesto, Kappa, guides us deep into its depths. Visions and impressions float through one-of-a-kind kits and famous posters, Apple tech and Olympic events. They blend medals and success, names and surnames inextricably linked to each precious display case, and each drawing board, starting with Maurizio Vitale and Marco Boglione.

The BasicGallery inside the BasicVillage

WARS AND INSIGHT, A HOSIERY FACTORY FOR ITALY

Basic Village is a microcosm. And we’ve got to head back a century to experience its big bang. In 1916, Abramo Vitale decided to ride the wave of industrialization, starting his own yarn trading business inside a farmhouse under the name Calzificio Torinese. As inscribed in the company’s very name, hosiery became Vitale’s main staple, rapidly spreading throughout the country. The first meaningful step in the company’s evolution came at the outbreak of World War II.

The factory, which had since come under the management of Davide Vitale, Abramo’s grandson, became a strategic supplier to the Italian Army. This was when it began producing shirts branded with the Eagle symbol. Its dizzying rise, however, was short-lived; a surgical American bombing razed the structure to the ground in 1943. Ruins are all that remains of the farmhouse, of the machinery only skeletons. Despite the complex sociopolitical and commercial scenario, the national relevance of the Calzificio led to its eventual resurrection in 1951 amid postwar reconstruction.

Davide Vitale broke ground on his company’s new headquarters and, with it, a new path embellished by their merger with Manifattura Tessuti Maglierie, transforming today’s Basic Village into Maglificio Calzificio Torinese. The expansion to knitwear and the diversification of its production line transported the winged symbol from wartime needs toward the greater good, the public at large.

BasicVillage views

K – A LETTER FOR HISTORY

During the 1950s, the growing production of socks and knitwear came to a historical head. In 1956, customers started sending back stocks of products with noticeable manufacturing errors.  Concerned about the potential damage to the brand, the Vitale family set out for a remedy. Thus was born a child of necessity, a child of genius: the letter that would change the company’s history forever.

K-Kontroll. Senior management sensed that new corporate credibility must come through a fictitious acronym, a word that didn’t exist but conveyed a precise meaning. K for control, K for quality, consistency, and detail. This K communicated an adherence to standards that transcended national borders, recalling the K of the German system, ever a trademark of manufacturing rigor and the strive for perfection. The desire to safeguard corporate status married to sheer marketing. The outcome was something beautiful.

In 1958, the year the Kappa trademark was officially registered, the company was already the national leader in socks and undergarments. The Bel Paese was more than happy to don the quality and care guaranteed by a monogram. Italian wardrobes across the land were filled with a brand letter that was as distant from Dante’s as reassuring to every consumer’s conscience.

Early evidence of the name K-Kontroll and the iconic Kappa logo
Kappa history in the hallways of BasicVillage

A LEGENDARY LOGO

Despite enjoying an apparent monopoly of the domestic market in undergarments, Maurizio Vitale, the young heir to the company in the late 1960s, decided to combine his entrepreneurial aplomb with a deeper vision of a constantly changing world. Thus, he opened Kappa to the lifestyle market. The epiphany took place in front of his TV as he watched an interview with John Lennon. Vitale was struck by a single garment the musical legend was wearing, a military jacket from a casualty of Vietnam.

After that, Kappa shirts were dyed green and upgraded with emblems and symbols, heralding the brand’s officially entry into the world of casual wear. But one last step was missing before the final transformation: the design of a logo with cross-cultural impact. Amongst the negatives of a Beatrix swimwear photo shoot, Vitale caught a glimpse of the silhouettes of a young man and woman taken against the light. They are nude and sitting back-to-back, legs slightly bent and arms supporting their faces. Their mirrored profiles captivated and inspired the 20-year-old entrepreneur.

At the dawn of the 1970s, Kappa associated its aesthetics with that logo and added something to its name: Robe di. ‘Robe’ in Turin is another word for ‘things,’ ‘objects.’ This twofold, epochal transition catapulted Kappa and its products into the collective imagination of everyday Italian life. The process was aided by the genesis of what would become essential corporate assets: communicative and advertising genius, and relationships with the most important figures in the sports industry.

The Beatrix shooting that inspired the Kappa logo
Old Kappa sponsorships and campaigns

OF INNOVATION AND AESTHETICS, SPORTS AND KAPPA

The journey ranges from Juventus to the U.S. Olympic National Team through a technological imprinting inspired by Apple and an aesthetic sensibility capable of pinpointing taste, trend and performance in modern sports. The BasicNet archive is a journey into the evolution of a highly complex reality today and an evocative dive into a whirlwind of sports personalities and turning points. It is style applied to functional progress: a virtuous dynamic that began in the distant 1980s and was carried onward by Marco Boglione into the present day.

That is why we have devoted two in-depth reports on the endless two-step between Kappa and the sports world. In the coming weeks, you’ll find these chapters here, where you can immerse yourself in sequence shots of narrative and athletic feats shaped by a single, powerful letter and an unforgettable logo.

The connection between BasicNet brands and some global celebrities, such as Michael Jackson's Sebago shoes and Spice Girl Mel C's Kappa pants
Some examples of past Kappa sports sponsorships

Marmöl Faces

The testimonies of those who celebrate the Dionysian nuances of the Gravel universe

The Marmöl movement has no precise nation or form. So does the Gravel movement. It’s a combination of creative minds applied to cycling, eclectic romance and nature. Where the quarries of the Botticino Marble paint every ride, every performance is overshadowed by the aesthetics, meanings and history of a unique area. To be Marmöl faces means to be Gravel lovers, sure, but it also means to be contemporary two-wheel explorers, ready to experience the wonders of a territory shaped by natural imagination, as well as human industriousness. It means choosing mental, social and sensory achievements over ephemeral results. It means sharing tracks and dj-sets. As confirmed by the words of some Marmöl Gravel 2024 protagonists.

Sami Sauri – gravel explorer, founder of The W Collective

“It was an incredible experience. I would have stayed for hours looking at the quarries. Marmöl gives you a chance to see natural wonder altered by human presence. And this mix here created crazy views. I didn’t think there could be so many people. I met friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time, even bike polo teammates I played with in Padua 15 years ago…. I laughed, had a good time and enjoyed the unhurried beauty – the perfect Sunday chill. Events like this one don’t have the pressure of a typical race and can simply inspire people. That’s why Marmöl is a brilliant format. And that’s why so many girls are here today – thanks to Marmöl they can meet and understand the real Gravel culture, and improve edition after edition. I’ll definitely come back next year. I just hope that my schedule will be ok.”

Omar Martinello – explorer, cyclist and hiking guide

“I’m a big fan of the Gravel world, because I find it to be a perfect meeting point between sport and style. It has a precise, rough soul, made of trails and exploration, and it’s involving a lot of people everywhere. Events like Marmöl allow me to discover new and old human connections. Every time it feels like going back to childhood and going to summer camp: you know some friends will be waiting for you. The Gravel would not be such a unique phenomenon without the concept of community. Marmöl is an ideal format for sharing a cool experience, it matches my idea of connection with the territory. I’m an advocate of experiences what’s close to you. In Italy we have so many unexplored spots…. This is my second participation, but it certainly won’t be my last. Drinking mulled wine in front of quarries that look like cathedrals is satisfying.”

Paolo Bettini – cycling legend, GeoGravel Tuscany founder

“A long time ago I gave up competitive cycling and dedicated myself to Gravel. I built my career quite well, but now my approach to cycling is related to the concepts of exploration and discovery. And it’s synonymous with Gravel. I’ve raced so many times in this territory, but only now I’ve had the chance to really get into it. This is the difference between Gravel and traditional cycling. The bike becomes an opportunity to come together, to celebrate something collectively. My transition was easy, because biking for me is life, but most importantly is well-being. Riding and discovering makes you feel good. Gravel events should be like Marmöl: non-competitive races where you can get lost, and appreciate what’s around you. I’m also bringing this kind of format to my homeland, in Tuscany, where I’m developing the GeoGravel project. I’m here for studying, I want to get in symbiosis with a movement that until a few years ago I didn’t really understand. The combination of party, beers, sandwiches, music and natural wonder makes cycling a fascinating playground. I’m working on this project between the Etruscan coast and Chianti: I’ve been training in my home hills for a lifetime, now I love share their beauty with others.”

Asja Paladin – former pro cyclist, Enough Collective member

“This is my third Marmöl. Once again I’m here with my collective, Enough. After 20 years of competitive cycling, I’m so happy to have the opportunity to see so many people enjoying themselves through Gravel, and to feel them around me. In Enough we believe that one bike is ‘enough’ to make anyone happy, and Marmöl confirms this thought. Here I feel part of Enough, but also part of a much larger community. Gravel has the power to be inclusive, and I’m thrilled because we have so many girls here…. A lot of us are sometimes just afraid to get on two wheels – we just need the right format for meeting and embracing the cycling culture. Gravel and events like Marmöl play a key role in changing this kind of perspectives. Then, we often travel far to discover things, but Marmöl shows how we can find interesting places near to our cities. That’s why days like these are a big W for the  entire movement.”

Carlo Donadoni – Global Marketing Manager 3T

“3T has supported Marmöl from its origins. And I was lucky enough to participate starting from the first edition. Back then I remember bringing a coffee machine and making coffees for everyone. Today, the numbers have risen exponentially, but the playfulness and, most importantly, the quality of this event did the same. 3T started producing bikes in 2016 and we decided to focus on grassroots events, built by and through communities. We chose to avoid sponsorships to pro teams. Events like Marmöl match our philosophy and alternative positioning. Its success gratifies us. I live in Bergamo, nearby Brescia, yet I’d never visited these fascinating areas. Is simply inspiring to meet so many people here and watch them discover the quarries while having fun”

Dino Lanzaretti – extreme cyclist/traveler, trip creator

“Marmöl is objectively something unique. In the past I’ve seen images of quarries inside magazines or documentaries, but cycling on this valley is simply beautiful. You can see the disarming impact of human beings on nature – an imprint that’s extremely fascinating, at least here. The mountains cut by these white, layered stones made me think of a giant work of art. I’ve to be honest, so many Gravel events are springing up, but this is one of the few that continues to endure and grow over time. Marmöl engages the right people and offers tracks for everyone – this is the perfect formula. I’ve always ridden to head to a place. Here, however, I rode in order to come back to the starting point, and I liked it. As I climbed through the quarries I thought about how nice it’d be to start first and finish last, meeting and talking to all the people…. This is an ideal first approach to a style of cycling that can then evolve into harder and more difficult experiences. It’s essential, and I’ll take a lot of people with me to future editions.”


The Marmöl experience is the Gravel experience

Marmöl 2024 is the latest evolution of a unique Gravel celebration

Dust. Quarries. Light. Marmöl Gravel’s cycling celebration is back along with its unique features. We are in Brescia, we are in the home of Botticino marble. We are where times and pace cease to be essential, making room for the sharing of beauty. Among these stones, on these tracks capable of combining natural imagination and human effort, Gravel shines in its purest and most convivial meaning.

The Mille Miglia Museum, a mystical place of Italian and international automotive history, is the perfect epicenter for this Marmöl edition and its recent evolutions – a symbolic starting and finishing point that defines the essence of this event: an ordinary epic, an individual and collective journey that is sublimated by the connotations and morphology of hypnotic views.

On a warm Sunday morning, nearly 600 cyclists start to ride. Twice as many as last year’s edition. Some come from around the corner, others set out at dawn to be here. All of them embark on a smiling journey, divided into two tracks of 80 / 60 km. But statistics don’t matter. They are a mere data that vanishes in front of a community that wants to celebrate itself, its creative sensibilities, and an eclectic, relaxed communal vision – as organizer Niccolò Varanini explains.

“When I started Marmöl, I never imagined that it could evolve like this. I knew there was some potential, but events are unpredictable, just like babies. And Marmöl is my son. This year we started from the Mille Miglia Museum, it was definitely an organizational choice, but I think it’s important to introduce Marmöl participants to my city and its most iconic places. I don’t want the quarries and tracks to be detached from Brescia. And it’s honestly great to say, “Let’s start from the Mille Miglia Museum” – the Freccia Rossa has never ceased to arouse fascination. At the moment Marmöl is an Italian event, we are proud, because we’re a reference point for the Gravel movement in our country. This year about two hundred people didn’t come because we ran out of places, next year we will try to increase the numbers, without losing our attention to detail. In the future we might envision a further evolution into an international event…. We’ll see!”


White Turf, horseracing royalty in St. Moritz glamour

The renowned White Turf horse race portrayed by our lens

The charm of St. Moritz and its scenery is timeless. Every year since 1907, in one of the world’s most desirable tourist destinations, a unique sporting event takes shape. It combines the majestic kinetic beauty of horses with the thrill of racing and the unpredictability of snow. It’s the White Turf, an icy grand gala of international horse racing organized by the St. Moritz Racing Club – a white natural racecourse where luxury, speed and jet set come together. Our photo gallery is joined by the testimony from Swiss jockey Tim Bürgin, and the words of Christian Freiherr von der Recke, the owner of the German stable Rennstall Recke.

Tim Bürgin – Professional horse jockey

“My father was an amateur horse jockey. I grew up watching competitions and when I was 8 years old, I started riding normal horses. A few years later I moved from Switzerland to Paris and started an apprenticeship in a stable. You know, France, Italy and England are the epicenters of European horse racing. Then in 2011 I made my debut as a jockey and in 2012 I raced for the first time here, at the White Turf. It’s a special place, you never know what you can face. There is always a big crowd, a unique clamor, and we all know what an honor it is to race on these tracks. The atmosphere is beautiful, jockeys and horses experience unrepeatable sensations. The final result is an enigma, because horses’ reactions to these snowy tracks are unpredictable. Those who are faster in regular races may not necessarily be faster here. The pace is higher, and you can’t rely on tactics.

Andrea Furger drone shot

Christian Freiherr von der Recke – Trainer/Owner of Rennstall Recke Stable

“White Turf lives in an unparalleled location. Every now and then I have to pinch myself to realize where I am. I was here, in St. Moritz, just a few months ago. It was summer and you could swim in the lake, there were rowers and there was a half marathon. Now everything is frozen, even in the stands. I train my horses satisfying their needs. Every morning I wake up and talk to them, figure out what they prefer to do. These tracks can be scary for some horses, especially inexperienced ones, so you have to really know them. But at the end of the day, you can only find out here if a horse wants to run in the snow or not. It’s so hard to choose the right jockey for the right horse, and for the right race. That’s why winning a race is so complex, and it is always a pleasure to win one. My horses have won 2,200 times, but I have lost 9,000 races. One success every four races. That’s why the feeling of winning is always great, especially here.”


Marmöl, a gravel celebration

We’re once again the Media Partner of Marmöl Gravel

Marmöl is a celebration of Dionysian gravel cycling. It’s the discovery of the Botticino marble quarrying territory, an individual and collective experience in a magical area of Brescia, where quarries and nature come together with conscious cycling. Marmöl isn’t a race, it’s an event where the exploration of human connections, underrated landscapes and simple conviviality are worth much more than times and results. We’ll be Media Partner of Marmöl Gravel again this year, and on February 25th we’ll portray its protagonists and meanings. For now, you can enjoy the gallery from the past edition and read some testimonies. Visit the Marmöl website if you want to find out something more about this event.


The colors of the African Cup of Nations

The Africa Cup of Nations is synonymous with passion, fans and colorful creativity

“Africa is a state of mind. I work in Europe, but I dream in Africa,” recounted one of the greatest footballers in modern history, Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o.

The unique, unmistakable African state of mind emerges during a unifying event like the African Cup of Nations (AFCON). While the African Cup of Nations is generally experienced as an exotic and almost unknown football parenthesis, this event unleashes the essence, magic and, why not, esoteric undertones of an entire continent.

The Ivory Coast is the home of the current AFCON and yet another showcase for a football dream of colorful passion and distinctive creativity. This image gallery does not celebrate players or managers, but the co-stars of this continental competition: the fans of the various national teams and their eclectic football passion.

Credits

IMAGO / ZUMA Wire / Samuello Sports Images Gh / Osodi Emmanuel / Shengolpixs


The Nuances of the Australian Open

Chris Caporaso's lens guides us through the details and vibe of the Australian Slam

“I love Australia for what it is, and I love its people. It’s like the home of tennis” – Roger Federer. The Australian Open has its own peculiarities, its own soul. A DNA that echoes typical Aussie characteristics, revealing itself in every tennis glimpse, architectural vision, and face in the stands. The Australian blue is swift but calm, exotic but traditional. It has the flavor of an entire country and its cultural capital, Melbourne, the city that originated and evolved the most progressive artistic currents of its continent. So distant, yet so close. Chris Caporaso’s gallery showcases the beauty of this event, of the Oceanian tennis epicenter, by drawing us into its intimacy, into its atypical, fascinating visual language.


The Vibez Golf Club, the New Wave of Golf

In Vibez Golf Club, progress rhymes with style, new generations and pars

Jordans, tattoos, dreadlocks, hip hop music & golf; many may think there is an odd one out in that combination, but Vibez Golf Club (VGC) is changing that perception. As a group made up of members from cities across the United States, VGC has a goal to bring the game to communities who have historically been left out of the sport. With co-founders including NFL stars like Melvin Gordon & Dare Ogunbowale, they also see golf as a vessel for opportunity for the next generation; they want kids to know they can pursue it if they want, just as many have with football and basketball in the areas where they grew up. Most importantly, as another co-founder, Noe Vital, puts it, they want anyone to be able to “come to the course as themselves and walk off the course as themselves.”

Photo credits:

Credits MT Kosobucki

@vibezgolfclub 

vibezgolfclub.com