Known for their fiercely innovative approach and long list of refined fabrics, complex treatments and expert dyeing procedures, Stone Island are undoubtedly one of the most widely recognised and influential brands in modern day existence. Having permeated into sub-cultural movements around the globe the brand have spent the past 38 years putting out some of the most strikingly sought after garments in fashion history.
Many of us may think we know all there is to know about the Italian powerhouse’s history but, much like many of the iconic jackets they devise, there’s a lot more hiding beneath the surface that, dare we say, even the most die hard of Stone Island fan may be unaware of. So with that in mind and to test your knowledge on all things compass patch we thought we would compile a list of 5 things you may not know about Stone Island.
Stone Island Wasn’t Intentional
As many people may already know Stone Island was founded by non-other than the legendary designer Massimo Osti, but did you know that the brand was originally a diffusion line? Before laying the foundations of what we now know as the modern day Stone Island in 1982, Otsi was hard at work researching, manufacturing and engineering a selection of textiles and fibres to use in his various CP Company collections having established the brand 11 years prior.
During his experimentation Osti was inspired by the fabric which was used on the tarpaulin of military trucks, drawing from it as his source material to develop a two-tone, durable membrane that gave the now signature worn-in finish found on many of the brand’s garment to this day. Officially dubbed Tella Stella, despite struggles to align the heavyweight cotton with his CP endeavours, Osti knew he was onto something special, making the decision to instead piece together 7 individually crafted jackets that would become the first ever Stone Island branded collection.
Origins of the name
From the beginning Osti knew he needed a strong name and identity to regiment his latest creations under. The name Stone Island was actually derived from the novels of Ukrainian born writer Joseph Conrad. Delving into his novels they extracted the two most recurring words from his texts, ‘stone’ and ‘island’. There are also those that say it was named such due to their use of pumice stones during the washing process to break down the rigidity of fibres, such as the brand’s debut Tella Stella material, or to symbolise the brands’s close affiliation with the use of water during several stages of the fabrication process.
More Than Meets The Patch
The Stone Island patch is arguably one of the most iconic and easily distinguishable features of the brand. No matter how left-field and exploratory their fabrics, cuts or silhouettes get, a garment can easily be identified from a circular flash of black, green and yellow. Purposely made fully removable nature due to Osti’s fascination with the details of military pieces he found during his many visits to the flea markets of the ’70s. Officially named the wind rose, much like the name itself, it conjures up nautical themes and represents Stone Island’s never-ending pursuit of evolutionary endeavours.
Originally framed by a green border up until 2000, Stone Island make use of a number of subtle changes in appearance to differentiate their troupe. From the blacked out Shadow Project patch and monochromatic ghost patches to the scarcely seen mesh patches, one off anniversary patch and the white / black, ‘champagne’ patch that signifies limited pieces which utilise in-house fabrics.
Garment dyeing is no doubt the bread and butter of Stone Island’s masterful output so it should come as no surprise to hear that they have their own dedicated colour laboratory which focuses on researching new hues but different techniques in which they can be applied to finished pieces to best suit each fabrics unique properties and make up. Through hard-work and dedication they have currently created over 60,000 bespoke recipes a number that continues to grow season to season.
We’ve said it once but we will say it again Stone Island know their way around a fabric or two. With a strong functional and militaristic undercurrent to the majority of their output the brand have fashioned everything from thermo-sensitive garments which fluctuate in appearance based on the temperature – such as the ICE range – to garments coated with a stainless steel / bronze film and even, in the case of the Liquid Glass collection, jackets which employ thousands of glass microspheres to reflect light as the wearer moves. If that wasn’t enough the brand have also been know to implement some of the worlds toughest materials like Kevlar and Dyneema, create glow in the dark finishes and even combine polar opposites such as leather and aluminium into one creation.
So there we have it, let us know in the comments if you knew any already or if you have any fascinating Stone Island titbits that we missed. If you would like more information to satiate your Stone Island cravings check out our brand guide or you can shop our latest arrivals here.