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Casual Culture History

Stone Cold Culture — Football and the Compass

Stone Island has long stood amongst the favored brands of the Casual Culture scene; combining as it does the clean cut look of top end designer fashion with subtle undertones of the military, a uniform of the elite — what lad could resist such a compelling combination?

Exactly where and who first brought Stone Island to the football terraces is a question of some serious argument amongst the fans, even to this day. Without question, however, is who imported the very first pieces into the UK — Jones of London it was.
This world renowned fashion emporium was the first to retail the rising Italian brand in the UK. However, it doesn’t follow that the first clubs to sport the famous compass badge were from London and the Home
Counties; not at all.

The first few garments quickly became popular with those who could afford it, the quality was fantastic for the time but came with a heavy price tag to match. A single garment could cost well over £100 — a large sum back in the days of Thatcherite Britain.
Now whilst London was the center for the early UK stockiest, Stone Island was much easier to obtain in its native Italy; easier and with a far larger choice as almost the whole range would be available
there.

It’s easy to agree from this that there would not have been any one club that introduced the brand as such; no, what happened is that those fans who follow their club into Europe were the first select souls to bring back the compass to their terraces; thus began one of the stories of modern fashion history.
At the time a larger number of English football clubs were playing in Europe and with the ever decreasing cost and increasing accessibility of travel to Europe there was now a real alternative to the increasingly common Adidas and Lacoste labels worn on the terraces of England. A real alternative the ever fashion conscious lads would soon embrace throughout their number.

To own a piece from Stone Island or maybe CP Company back in the 80’s was a real statement on many levels. Lads wearing this gear certainly would have stood out from the masses and easily made a name for themselves. The cut, the pure style, distinctive compass badge; all screamed look at me! And hard wearing. Yes they were. The Stone Island and CP Company brands are world renowned for their hard wearing longevity.
The football terraces, at first thought, seem an odd place to wear gear that costs hundreds and in some
cases thousands of pounds; in fact this clothing worked very well in such environments with what damage their was often being embraced as a “reminder” of the action.


Worn for years and always worn with pride and passion; a passion that goes hand in hand with the game. Fans over the years have always let their emotions and passion for support of their team spill over into violence. Be it organized or just a small brawl in the local pub; it is an inescapable part of the football culture — and not just in England.

This violent sub-culture of the football scene has been documented many times from all different angles but perhaps the most provocative and enlightening insight into the whole movement and mindset of the dedicated football hooligan can be found in the films: The Firm (1988), The Football Factory (2004) and Green Street (2005).
Approval or not of the football hooligan as lived by the Casual Culture movement is not something anyone is really entitled to. The violence and pack mentality, moving as one unit, territorial, looking out for your mates against all odds; that is what it is to be Human, like it or not. Don’t believe me, look first at the elite units in any military; do you connect with them, respect them?

Now look in the mirror — Human.

The death of Massimo Osti in 2005 left the modern fashion world minus one of its very creators. The lads and terraces of the British football scene will miss him dearly as he and his creations are forever a part of the English Football scene. Today the fans still proudly wear the Compass, life goes on and Stone
island is safe in the hands of Sportswear Company (SPW).
Massimo’s legacy lives on. Football, Casuals and Stone Island are a part of our history.


 

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Mays clothing are not official stockist’s for any of the brands we sell however we purchase old season and some new season surplus stock from shops who are official stockists around the UK, this is why we can guarantee authenticy and have some of the cheapest prices online.

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