The first prototype had an incredible feel, but it looked entirely outside of C.P. Company’s vocabulary. It did not belong to the label. As a result, a decision was made to create seven jackets in that unique fabric, known as “Tela Stella”, and to give the collection a name: Stone Island. Stone Island had a marine feel, reminiscent of oilskins that have been corroded by the sea, as well as a military feel, arising from the background of research undertaken up until that time. The name too, evoked the love for the sea and the treatment used to create the garments. The badge – the embroidered fabric label that has distinguished the brand since the first season – held the Compass Rose and was displayed like an insignia on a military garment.
It was an immediate success.
A star was born.
In 1983 Massimo decided to devote himself entirely to the creative side of the business and together with his partners, decided that in order to give to the company structure and resources, it would be good to join forces with a large firm. GFT, Gruppo Finanziario Tessile from Turin, bought out Osti’s shares.
Carlo Rivetti, shareholder of GFT, entered the scene. He believed in sportswear and fell in love with the product, the research, the philosophy and the creative tension in the air in Ravarino.
A highly reflective Japanese fabric, coated with thousands of micro glass spheres inspired the ‘Reflective Jacket’. It was metallic white or bright red, green, yellow or blue. It reflected light from even the weakest light sources.
The jackets used the language of colour signs and safety work garments. They were assertive and tremendously striking garments.
In ’93, Carlo Rivetti and his sister Cristina left GFT to devote themselves entirely to the firm in Ravarino, which they renamed Sportswear Company. There was a need for a Milanese branch and in 1994 the first showroom was opened, covering 500 square metres in Via Bramante. Amongst the new fabrics introduced between ’93 and ’96, was “Radiale”, a fabric with a thick rubber laminate coating, “Oltre”, a fine layer of nylon with an ultra shiny coating and “Formula Steel”, a nylon canvas that took on extraordinary colours.1996 was an important year. The association with Massimo Osti came to an end as he had opened Massimo Osti Production some seasons earlier with several partners.
Carlo Rivetti entrusted Stone Island to Paul Harvey, an Englishman of genius, who took up the challenge to succeed Osti in order to lead Stone Island towards the next millennium. This gamble turned out to be a real winner. Paul developed the range and reworked the materials, then he went a step further: Driving research, he investigated materials that were entirely outside of the clothing field and studied extremely innovative construction and technical solutions.
The end of the century and a new millennium: the ‘Silver Jacket’ and ‘Bronze Jacket’ were launched, created with 100% stainless steel and 100% bronze metallic mesh bonded to a fabric base.
The ‘Silver Jacket’ was exhibited in the huge foyer of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris to celebrate its reopening.
“Silver Spray” was also introduced, a fine polyester base bonded by means of a vacuum seal to a 100% stainless steel film, born to be used to shield aeroplane on-board circuits. In 1999, the coordinated image for the Stone Island flagship stores was fine tuned and launched. It was pure innovation: shaped poles in luminous fibreglass, in oak and carbon fibre, freely embeddable in a stainless steel floating floor. In September, the Milan store was opened at 12 Corso Venezia and in December in London, at 46 Beak Street, in the heart of Soho.
The research focus shifted to Kevlar®, which is five times stronger than the same weight in steel and highly thermo-insulating.
Stone Island’s interpretation of this impossible to dye material, entailed coupling it with a nylon mesh and a polyurethane coating to allow the colour to seize upon the finished piece through garment dyeing.
The firm introduced polyester garment dyeing, at 130°C under pressure, opening up a whole new horizon for fibres that could be treated in the Stone Island colour laboratory. It was also the time of the monofilament meshes, joined in various layers or protecting fine high-performance thermo-taped membranes – which, due to their transparency revealed the internal construction of the garments, and the time of non-woven fabrics, pressed, coated and then garment dyed.
In October 2005, at 73/75 Via del Babuino, the Rome flagship store was opened.
Research led to the creation of “Prismatic Silk”, which owing to its shiny grainy coating, bestowed garments with extraordinary colours and effects. In October 2006, the Verona store was inaugurated too, at 35 Corso Porta Borsari, just a few steps from Piazza delle Erbe.
The first ultra-light down jackets were introduced, in matte nylon with a weight of 30 grams per square metre, creating down jackets constructed with innovative solutions to enhance the concept of lightness.
In April, virtual shopping kicked off as the Stone Island Online Store was launched; in October the Seoul Flagshipstore was inaugurated at 650-20 Gang-nam Sin-sa. In December 2009, the Munich Stone Island showroom was opened, designed to monitor and promote the brand on the German market.
In 2008, Paul Harvey left Stone Island and the fashion world to devote himself to noble causes and Carlo Rivetti took over the art direction. He came to believe that the time for having just one designer leading Stone Island was over and created a multicultural team to better interpret the brand’s identity. The ‘Hand Painted Camouflage’ garments were created, which are dyed, faded and then hand painted with camouflage effects.
The association with Aitor Throup began, with the ‘Modular Anatomy’ and ‘Articulated Anatomy’ projects. Stone Island Shadow was created, a niche collection: an integrated use system designed for performance, with a technical background, yet with urban elegance. Since then associations with international graphic designers like Trevor Jackson have begun and a project with adidas to reinterpret the famous Samba. The interpretations of the Stone Island’s roots bloomed, with a new twist on the ‘Ice Jacket’ concept.
And the story goes on…
This website is optimized for a minimal resolution of 1280x800 pixels.
You might encounter some issues in viewing it on smaller screens.