05 July 2016 12:00:00
Stone Island: time to gather stones
Speaking of the brand’s three key persons changing apparel’s industry through the experiments
Fashion is a circle so to speak. Silhouettes come and go, men with smooth faces are replaced by gigantic beards, women throw away their chocker necklaces and then again look for them in a wastebasket. But there are clothes out of time existing out of any context but creating it.
Talking about material things
When talking about a famous brand with a compass on the logo people just say that they know something about an Italian maestro of style and experiments Massimo Osti who founded the brand of textile avant-garde. In fact, who would have imagined that cotton, stainless steel and bronze could be used together to make a jacket? Who would have thought that windbreaker made of atlas could resist any rain if it covered by poly-urethane inside? These genius inventions opened designers’ minds proving that there are no limits. But the Italian brand owes its existence to three persons pushing it forward – Carlo Rivetti, Massimo Osti and Paul Harvey who were keen on experiments and made a contribution to the development of the brand and fashion history at different times.
Carlo Rivetti’s (nowadays Creative Director and President at Stone Island, exactly in that order) introduction to experiments and obsession with them was long before meeting “stone island”. In 1872 his uncle, Giuseppe Rivetti saving enough money by selling father’s cows bought weaver looms and opened the factory called «Giuseppe Rivetti e Figli» - Giuseppe & Sons. Later it was purchased by another company from Turin – Gruppo Finanziario Tessile (GFT). A brilliant idea crossed his mind: to improve service life of wool he decided to soak it with rubber.
Immediately after the end of WWII Carlo’s father Silvio had a business trip to the USA where he bumped into the interesting company called Palm Beach Incorporated. It was unique due to its way of making paper patterns: clothes were created by special theoretical measures. Today it’s known for us as sizes. An ambitious Silvio got the job of general laborer at the factory and worked hard during 6 months. On the returning he asked his brothers to sell all the company’s shares to him. In 1950’s GFT took more than 25.000 Italians’ measures which allowed the company to provide practically the whole country with ready-made clothes. Carlo Rivetti came in uncle’s company in 1975 where opened tailoring sportswear departure. Carlo Rivetti came in uncle’s company in 1975 where opened tailoring sportswear departure. In the early 80’s he knew everything about the firm he fell in love with and in 1983 GFT purchased 50% of the company’s shares. Afterwards the Rivetti’s company the rest stock of shares that belonged to C.P. Company, whose runners were Trabaldo Togna and Massimo Osti.
Born in the capital of Italian cuisine – Bologna, a young Massimo decided to make clothes instead of cooking tagliatelle and found a job of graphic designer in a small firm. Osti was one of the first persons used four-colour process and serigraphy for prints on fabric in clothing. After his successful collection of t-shirts with prints he was offered by his college Trabaldo Togna to make men’s collection and become a business partner. So that’s how Chester Perry Company was established. Two first words written as initials so as not to mix up with a famous English company with a laurel wreath on its logo
As all great discoveries Stone Island appeared accidentally from nothing. Tela Stella an interesting variation of canvas commonly used for tents on military vehicles was brought at the factory. Fabric’s front and back sides were painted in two different colours. It was that very material to deal with – it was beautiful and unusual but it was also out of the brand’s vision. The fabric was strong but absolutely impracticable: Osti was doing laundry with pumice stones for several hours to make it softer. As one-day side project Osti made 7 jackets using this material. The left forearm was decorated with an element becoming a trademark – the badge with a compass on buttons. Sold out was following 10 days which gave an impetus to creating a long-term brand.
In 1987 (it was a peak of designer’s career) Osti presented to public the revolutionary materials Rubber Flax and Rubber Wool – linen and wool covered by a slight layer of rubber. Rubber made linen and wool waterproof and it looked exotic. In this year Massimo firstly carried out an experiment on napped wool: this method is used nowadays by all factories in the world. Later Ice Jacket was launched – a high-tech jacket changing its colour depending on temperature.
Many technological and designer inventions in fashion industry are behind the Italian master. In 1993 he opened his own brand called Left Hand working with more crazy fabrics. The first brainchild was nonwoven material consisting of pressed polyester and nylon fiber which as felt could be used during the process with coarse fabric edges Osti also created the following innovative fabrics: mix of polyester and cooper fiber, cool max – hollow fiber absorbing sweat and then led out, canvas based on polyester and carbon fiber protecting people from magnetic interference Rivetti was working with Osti during 20 years until the early 90’s when the designer decided to do other projects. In 1994 Rivetti while walking at Munich Trade Fairs noticed clothes by Paul Harvey and offered cooperation to him. Massimo lived until 2005 and died of cancer in the age of 59 but his heritage is alive. Tens, even hundreds of people are working by his sketches and some of the genius’s followers arranged the brand MA.Strum. due to his legacy.
The British designer had always gone from one extreme to the other. Paul got straight A's as a student of Boys' school in Hitchin, England. Particularly he was good at math and natural science. At the same time he had a masterful command of different things: he sewed clothes for himself, created jewelry, reassemble his new motorbike. Paul recalls that girls were his stumbling block. Enchanted by love, Harvey completely lost his skills at everything and dropped out from school. His father was a Scottish down to earth man who drew a line in the sand: either Paul got back in shape and back to school or got into art school. That's how he finished Saint Martin's School of Art.
When leaving the school, the young Englishman was absolutely disappointed in art and became a truck driver. His wife happened to restore his love for art after they had moved to Italy where Harvey decided to give up driver career and take up clothes designing. His acquaintance with Rivetti in 1994 was followed by the brand's new epoch. Harvey had his own opinion about clothes therefore it was distinguished from all the others with sophisticated details. He carried out experiments with fabrics in his own way: polyamide covered with polyurethane which looked like faux suede, military jacket made of laminated cotton with a bit of rubber added there, a blazer made of kevlar and a jacket made of aramide fiber that's five times stronger that steel.
24 collections released Harvey quitted and together with his friend Alessandro Punghetti created a new ascetic brand, way different from what he did before. Brand was named Ten C - The Emperor's New Clothes, based on the Anderson’s tale. In his new work the designer mixed technological Japan fiber and classic military silhouettes. Waterproof breathing fabric gets fitted and can live for a long time.
After Paul Harvey had left Stone Island in 2005 Carlo Rivetti faced a serious issue of running the company alone. The designer made a very bold decision: he put together a squad of the world's best designers to get the picture of a modern world that's why he sought for different points of view. And that's what we see since 2008. This time Shadow Project was established - an interesting "conversation" between Stone Island and Acronym, the tech wear flagman, about the clothes future. At the moment of now this "conversation" has been stretched for 17 collections and fortunately they still have a lot to talk through. The yield is something unique and hard to describe in words. It defies any logic. Stone Island is a kind of hobby club where people think outside the box and notice what other people aren't able to. Because sometimes an orange jacket isn't just an orange jacket but it's way more than you can see.
The Italian company and famous scientists and explorers have something in common and it's their passion to try something new. Work on the edge of classics and craziness pulls culture and society forward. Stone Island and wind rose are the symbol of craziness and assertiveness.
Stone IslandMen's coat Tela Nylon Mac Black
Stone IslandMen's parka Fishtail Diagonal Nylon Black
Stone IslandMen's windrunner jacket Jacquard Viscosa Nylon Turquoise Blue
Stone IslandMen's jacket SB Blazer Twill Grey
Stone IslandMen's sweater Knit Crew Neck Navy/Blue
Stone IslandMen's longsleeve Catch Pocket White
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