A culture of research, experimentation, function and use are the matrices that have always defined Stone Island: the sportswear brand established in 1982 in Ravarino, in the Modena area, by the genius that is Massimo Osti, Art Director and Bolognese intellectual. Within just one year Carlo Rivetti came onto the scene. Having bought, with the GFT, 50% of Osti’s company in 1983, he took over the whole of the company in 1993, with his sister Cristina, promising the continuity that over the years had reinforced the DNA of the brand.
Destined to become a symbol of extreme research in fibres and textiles, applied to an innovative design, it is known as the brand that’s redefined the common understanding of sportswear. Having immediately become a cult phenomenon, still today it maintains its position as a contemporary point of reference for younger generations. Stone Island’s strength lies in its unique capacity to work on the finished garment, via continuous experimentation with dyes and treatments created in the Sportswear Company’s colour laboratory. A department capable of combining advanced technology, experience and human capacity, that over the years has developed more than 60,000 different dye recipes.
LAB and LIFE, Stone Island's two souls
LAB is the constant, scrutinising and boundless investigation into the transformation and enhancement of fibres and fabrics, which brings discoveries of new materials and production techniques that have never previously been used in the clothing industry. From here, many projects are born: – Jackets constructed in nylon monofilament, deriving from the water filtering technology, – highly reflective or thermo-sensitive fabrics, changing colour with the variation of temperature – featherweight polyester cloth vacuum- coated with a 100% stainless steel film used in aviation technology to protect the on-board computers – non-woven materials, Kevlar® and polyester felt, these are some examples of materials conceived by Stone Island philosophy.
LIFE is the lived experience, the identity, the perceived status of anyone who wears Stone Island. It’s the strong and recognisable aesthetic that originates from the study of uniforms and work clothes, recreated with new needs in mind, to define a project where the function of the garment is never just aesthetic.
The story behind it started almost by accident, with a study of special two tone materials, so rigid and dense that they were washed extensively with pumice stones to tame their structure. The result is surprising, a garment that seems worn-in and completely fascinating. Seven down jackets in this unique fabric were created, and named Tela Stella. Thus it was born, the first collection with a strong marine identity that needed an important name. This was chosen by analysing the most recurring words in the novels of Joseph Conrad: Stone and Island. At which point, personalisation that was just as strong became necessary, like the badge, a label held on by two buttons showing the Wind Rose and acting as the insignia of a military captain.