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Stone Island History

Stone Island - A History of Passion and Technology

Today the Stone Island brand is recognized worldwide as being at the cutting edge of menswear design; both in terms of fashion and technology.

Founder and Italian designer Massimo Osti first created “Chester Perry” — later to become C.P. Company — in 1974. Then in 1982, originally as an infusion collection to C.P., Massimo formed the Stone Island brand we see today as a place where he could express other influences; to produce a more casual range than was easy to accommodate within the main C.P. Brand.

Massimo used his own life experiences and the feel and look of both work wear and military clothing as inspiration for the brand designs. There is also a strong nautical influence — not unsurprising given that Massimo was a very private person, enjoying time to himself; sharing time with nature, the sea and his beloved sailing yacht.

But what of the name Stone Island?

There has always been much speculation, discussion and myth surrounding the origins of the Stone Island name, what does it stand for, does it stand for anything? In fact the name itself also stems from his nautical influences.

Massimo wanted a name that would express the nautical adventure inspiration of the brand and set about researching the works of Joseph Conrad amassing words and phrases evocative of the feeling he wanted. He then combined and worked with these words, seeing what would fit, what worked, what felt right — from this process the name Stone Island was born and has become synonymous with cutting edge design and garment technology worldwide.

The Compass

There can be no doubt that the origins of this iconic symbol are those same nautical influences that led to the very name Stone Island. Whilst the basic ethos of the badge has remained throughout the brands history, certain details have, however, changed over time. The compass badge can be found on the left upper arm of Stone Island jackets and other long sleeve garments.

- The first compass badges had green outlining to them; sometime around the year 2000 the green edging was dropped.

- A so called White Badge was introduced for some limited edition pieces around the time of the millennium. The white badge continues to be found on limited edition garments made today.

- Shadow by name and by nature, the badge for the Stone Island Shadow range is depicted in a very apt black on black.

One thing often said of the iconic compass badge is that is looks military and functional in design. This is not only true but almost certainly intentional given that when creating much of the brand style Massimo took as influences the functional resilient nature and look of traditional workwear and military clothing of the time.

Material and garment research

Massimo Osti started life as a graphic designer, moving into the designer clothing industry with the creation of what is now the C.P. Company brand. Throughout he was always seeking to use his, at the time, non traditional design skills to further the creation of his clothing; it is this unique combination and determination to provide something new that created the brand and technologies we see today.

During his career he is credited with the invention of several key ideas and techniques that revolutionized the Italian clothing industry. For example, four process printing on fabric, garment dying, which you will find nearly all Stone Island jumpers have been dyed, brushed wool and rubber wool  are a few other techniques used on knitwear.

Use of such innovative technologies has led to Stone Island being renowned worldwide for its material research and meticulous dyeing processes so that today Stone Island is rightly famous for the creation of fabrics and processes unique to the brand — with materials such as kevlar, metal and glass finding their way into the jackets, trousers and other clothing bearing the famous compass badge.

This unique melding between state-of-the-art materials and a love for the basic functional form offered by military and working clothes has produced such classics as:

- The Ice Jacket, this is not a single item but rather a range of jackets and designs produced since the late 80’s. The jackets get their name both from their insulation and wind resisting properties and from the unique thermosensitive liquid crystal coating applied to them. This coating gives the jackets their chameleon like property of changing colour at low temperatures.

- Reflective Jacket, first seen in 1991 this high visibility jacket introduced yet another unique material combining a waterproof fabric and glass microspheres. The glass microsphears allow the "Reflective" to pickup and reflect even the weakest light source allowing it to be easily seen in almost any circumstances imaginable.

- Metal Shell Jacket, available in a limited edition White Badge version these jackets incorporate real metal into the outer fabric giving the finished result a unique appearance that changes as the light catches it from different angles.

The above are just some of the vast array of design ideas put into practice by the Stone Island brand.

So young yet so collectable

It is the continued use of such unique technologies and fabrics that has lead to a so called “vintage” collectors market for the brand, despite its relatively short history.

The Company Today

Today the Stone Island brand is owned, manufactured and distributed worldwide by Sportswear Company (SPW). SPW was formed from the original C.P. Company as a result of corporate mergers and sell offs in the mid to late 80’s.

The Man Who Started It All

Massimo Osti Died 2005 aged 59.


Who We Are?

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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