A culture of research, experimentation and usability are the matrixes that have always defined Stone Island; the brand, established in 1982, destined to become a symbol of extreme research on fibres and textiles applied to innovative design.
Each Stone Island piece is born from the perfect synthesis between experimentation and usability, between the study of fabrics and rationality.
The study of uniforms and of workwear, its evolution according to new functions of use, becomes Stone Island’s observatory for defining a project where the clothing’s purpose is never just purely aesthetic.
An ongoing and in-depth investigation into the transformation and ennobling of fibres and fabrics, and the unique ability to intervene on the finished garment through continuous dyeing experiments have led to the discovery of materials and production techniques never previously used by the clothing industry. This has brought Stone Island -over the years- to develop more than 60,000 different dye recipes.
LAB and LIFE
The 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 monofilaments deriving from water filtration technology, – highly reflective or thermo-sensitive fabrics that change colour with variations in 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, are just some examples of materials created thanks to Stone Island’s 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, defining a project where the function of the garment is never just aesthetic.
Stone Island was born in 1982 in Ravarino, Italy, a small town in the Province of Modena. The story begins almost by chance from the creative mind of Massimo Osti, with the study of a special material: a two-sided and two-tone truck tarpaulin, so rigid and full-bodied that it had to undergo heavy stone wash procedures to tame the structure of the material. The result was surprising, a garment with a worn and highly appealing appearance. Seven jackets were made in that single canvas, named Tela Stella. The fabric recalls the waxed jackets corroded by the sea and by the sun. The garments draw inspiration from the military uniforms and by the work-wear, in terms of function and structure. To this, the “Badge” has been applied and held on by two buttons showing the Wind Rose and acting as the insignia of a military captain. The first collection was born with a strong identity and needed an important name: Stone Island, inspired by the most recurring words in the novels of Joseph Conrad.
In 1983, Carlo Rivetti acquires 50% of the brand through his family business, GFT, Gruppo Finanziario Tessile, marking the start of the brand’s development.
The 1980s are the years of the foundation and consolidation of the brand’s aesthetics. The collections express cutting-edge garments solidly based on real true functionality. The research on textile, treatment of the fabric, and garment dyeing techniques, are unique and unreachable. Stone Island embodies the “exhibitive” attitude of the ‘Paninari’, the first fully Italian fashion-conscious youth movement and inspired the interpreters of the British music scene, defined in the 90s as ‘Britpop’. Later on, it was exhibited and promoted by the public of the United Kingdom in the stadiums as a sign of distinction and belonging.
In 1993, together with his sister Cristina, Carlo Rivetti took full control of the company. Thanks to the continuity ensured by Carlo, the brand maintained its integrity over the years with its relentless vocation for the product, accelerating and diversifying research and experimentation. From the ‘Ice Jackets’ of the late ’80s, made with fabrics that change colour with the temperature to the ‘Reflective Jackets’ that refract light in the dark.
In 1996 Carlo Rivetti called Paul Harvey to design future collections for Stone Island. The designer represented the perfect fit to deal with upcoming challenges of the new Millennium.
The new millennium was celebrated by jackets with steel coatings made under vacuum, in steel and bronze mesh, in garment-dyed Kevlar®. The polyester garment is dyed under pressure at 130 °C and opens up a whole new horizon of treatable fibres in the Stone Island colour laboratory. The meshes derived from biomedical are introduced to protect thin, thermo-taped performing membranes that, thanks to their transparency, reveal the internal architectures of the garments, the non-woven fabrics, pressed, coated and then dyed on the finished garment.
2005 saw the launch of STONE ISLAND JUNIOR, the miniature version of Stone Island’s functional garments, dedicated to children and teenagers.
In 2008, Carlo Rivetti took over the Creative Direction. As a firm believer of multiculturalism, he found a team of strategic consultants and young international designers who work alongside him and the company in the creation of the collections.
In the same year, the Stone Island Shadow Project was released: an exploration platform for a new generation of urban menswear. Strengthened by the unrivalled and advanced Stone Island research and development resources, Shadow Project represents the continuous investigation of new aesthetic-functional codes that respond to the present and anticipate future scenarios.
2008 also saw the launch of the e-commerce platform: stoneisland.com becoming the digital showcase of the collections.
In 2012, two important moments celebrate the 30th anniversary of the brand, an exhibition and a book.
The ‘STONE ISLAND 30’ exhibition took place in Florence, in the over 2,000 square meters Stazione Leopolda. A harmonic reading in which each area tells the origin and evolution of its research, the stratifications of experience and the translation of technical and technological evolutions between different worlds.
The book ‘STONE ISLAND ARCHIVE ‘982 – ‘012’, is an important collection of 307 iconic garments, out of 20,000 in the archive, to be entrusted with the task of telling the story of Stone Island.
The result is a gallery of images, put beside an accurate dictionary-like description of each garment with clear and concise language, arranged chronologically to give historical value and reveal the evolution of Stone Island’s first 30 years.
In July 2017, the Rivetti family, shareholder of Sportswear Company S.p.A., that owns the Stone Island brand, reached an agreement to sell 30% of the company’s shares to Temasek, an important investment company based in Singapore.
In December of 2020, Stone Island announced its entry into the Moncler group. With this transaction, united by their “beyond fashion, beyond luxury” philosophy, these two Italian brands will strengthen their positioning within the new luxury segment, a concept that embraces the search for experientiality, inclusivity, a sense of belonging to a community and the mixing of diverse meanings and worlds including those of art, culture, music and sport. The operation was completed March 31st 2021 with the acquisition of 100% of Stone Island by Moncler.