FGF Industry Spa.
Stone Island was created in 1982. At the time, the firm was called C.P. Company, as was the brand it produced. C.P. Company was considered the forefather of all Italian casual wear brands. Its “subtitle” was ‘Ideas from Massimo Osti’ and Massimo, a graphic designer and intellectual from Bologna invented it. In the mid Seventies, he was the first to get interested in army surplus garments, to understand the importance of the enormous cultural wealth to be found in vintage markets in Italy, a territory that through the ages had seen so many ancient and modern armies pass by. Massimo was the first to study the functional characteristics of these garments, cataloguing shapes, pockets, fastenings, garment accessories and studying the worn looks and faded colours that are so full of historical flavour. In order to reproduce them, in Ravarino, in the province of Modena, he perfected a sophisticated garment dyeing laboratory and experimental print works. He began research into materials and weaves, mixing them, coating them and transforming them by dyeing the finished garments.
One day a special material arrived: a heavy lorry tarpaulin. It was red on one side and blue on the other. What could be done with that? In order to transform it into an item of clothing, it was put into a washing machine with water and pumice stone and washed, for hours, in order to soften its structure, subduing it.
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.
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.
In the meantime, the collection was evolving, expanding to include further elements: jumpers, trousers, t-shirts and shirts; each one very special. Further lines of research were embarked upon, into fabrics, treatments and coatings. It was in ’85 that “Raso Gommato” was introduced, a cotton satin of military origin, with an inner or outer polyurethane coating.
“Alu C”, a cotton satin with an outer silver coating was presented in ´86. Those were the years of the boom. More than a fashion, Stone Island became a mania. Young people in Italy felt that Stone Island provided them with assertive garments that helped them to express their personalities.
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.
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.
In 1999, the coordinated image for the Stone Island flagship stores was fine tuned and launched. 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.
In 2000, at 54 Via Savona, in the heart of Zona Tortona, the firm had purchased the former canteen of the Acciaierie Riva Calzoni steelworks and transformed it into Stone Island’s new Milanese branch. It was meant to be not only Stone Island’s showroom, but also a 2000 square meter exhibition space, to house presentations, design and photographic exhibitions and concerts. The space was inaugurated in June 2002.
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.
In April 2008, virtual shopping kicked off as the Stone Island Online Store was launched; in October, the second London store was opened in the heart of Covent Garden at 34 Shelton Street and, a store was inaugurated in Seoul at 650-20 Gang-nam Sin-sa. In December 2009, on the other hand, 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.