Story: Tailor made in Ticino

Navigating among shirts

Blue eyes, short beard, enigmatic smile, a tan Panama hat and, of course, a shirt. His skin is tattooed with drawings and mottoes. He's the captain or rather the Copt-ain.

“I'm creative and hyperactive: I need a job where I can do many things.” Yari is simply unable to stay still and he lives his life in the middle of phones, laptops, mixers, microphones, running shoes and sewing machines. Wearing clothes Made in Ticino, the Old Captain confronts the present without fear.


Yari Copt, young entrepreneur

Yari Copt, young entrepreneur
I like travelling, but not just abroad: there's so much to see and experience in Ticino.

Yari Copt, 40 years of age, born and raised in Lugano where he lives and works. Or rather: one of the many places where he works.

He doesn't need an office, a phone or a desktop, and a single job is not enough for him. For music or shirts, Yari needs a chair, a table for his laptop, a smartphone and many new things always on the move. 

That's how he is: “I'm not used to standing still and I want to live every moment of my life learning new things every day. That way I'm hardly ever stressed.”

Yari's recipe is, of course, out of the ordinary, but there's very little ordinary about him.


A sportsman, he started to skate at 10 years of age and soon after he started snowboarding. But that's not all: there's also music, cinema and radio. He joined a rock band called Those Furious Flames. In 2009, he played alongside Lara Gut in Niccolò Castelli's film Tutti Giù. In 2015, he began to work with a private radio station.

And, last but not least, shirts. In 2016, he created his own brand Old Captain Co., with sustainable, no-waste production Made in Ticino.

But why shirts?
“I looked around me and saw that shirts were an intergenerational product and important for many people.”
But maybe what was available on the market was simply rather boring and Yari wanted to bring a breath of fresh air and change the tune. So why Old Captain?
“For several reasons, but there's nothing old in this idea: one of my nicknames is Coptain, all my favourite whiskeys have names that start with Old, some machines used to make the shirts have a lot history behind them and then, sometimes, I feel like an old captain who sails the seas with no constraints.” 

In my life I've been rewarded by karma... but I've also had some luck.
Pro tip
The Ticino music scene makes everyone happy: JazzAscona, Beatles Days, Moon and Stars, Estival Jazz, openairs and concerts in the grottos. All you have to do is choose.
Yari's shirts can be found online and in Ticino there are various points of sale in Bellinzona, Ascona and Lugano. Monn, Superofficine and Balù are some of the shops that display these products.
Cheese, wine, ham, beer, jars, wool, soap, tofu, shirts, bags and much more. The world of products made in Ticino is to be explored.

His brand depicts an anchor upside down: if it is planted in the sand, it holds a boat, but if you turn it upside down, it becomes a symbol of freedom. Free to sing with his band or to present a summer evening show at the Buskers' festival. Free to ride his bike ‒ a Honda CB250 ‒ or free to put on running shoes and go running in Lugano city centre, or at Ritom lake.

camicie yari

He is also free to eat without remorse. Yes, because Yari really likes cooking! “For me, what's on the plate is an art. A dish transmits emotions to me even before I taste it.”

“I run so that I can eat and drink well!”


So, Yari, what do you do? Answering that question in just a few words is perhaps the most difficult part.
He does a bit of everything: he eats, drinks, sings, mixes, presents concerts and products, organises, does wakeboarding and rides a motorbike. He plays board games and goes to exclusive fashion shows in Berlin and Florence, where he promotes the shirts that he sells all over Switzerland and beyond.

“I like travelling physically and with my mind.”

camicie yari