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Stone Island Brand History — Your Ultimate Guide

The History of Stone Island

The Stone Island brand name has many different connotations for many different people; for some, it is inextricably linked with football culture, in particular the casual movement — either in a positive or a negative sense; for others, it has become associated with the grime music scene, and has extended its reach beyond the terraces and onto the streets. But first and foremost, that iconic Compass badge on your sleeve is a symbol of quality, innovation and style — the principles on which the brand as we know it was founded back in 1982.

Stone Island Spring Summer 1983

Stone Island Spring/Summer 1983 Catalogue

Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti is from a family with long ties to the clothing industry. By the 1980s, though, he had grown restless within the world of formalwear, and sought to diversify into something he found more appealing: sportswear. He and his sister established a firm — the creatively-named Sportswear Company — and scoured Italy looking for companies that shared their vision for innovative casual clothing, where they discovered (and promptly acquired) CP Company. Stone Island itself, however, was conceived almost by accident: Massimo Osti — founder and designer for CP Company, and household name for those in the know about technical sportswear — had conceived a new fabric dubbed Tela Stella, a heavyweight, oilskin-like material impregnated with different pigments on either side, and was determined to make something out of it. He couldn’t find a way to make it fit within CP Company’s collection, however, and so decided to craft a small collection of just seven jackets. In keeping with the military and nautical inspiration behind the Tela Stella fabric, he chose a compass as the logo for his new diffusion line: Stone Island was born.

 

Stone Island and Streetwear: From the Terraces to the Streets

Moving forward from this inauspicious start, Osti pushed ahead with fabric innovation, endlessly researching new textiles and ways to implement them, coming up with often outlandish, off the wall fabrics that no-one else had even thought of: heat-reactive weaves; nylon fabric laminated with hundreds of glass beads to change the colour in different angles; earth-dyed, acid-corroded canvas. This over-the-top approach, along with the masculine, military styling of the brand’s offerings was a large part of ‘Stoney’s’ appeal to the football casual crowd: fans travelling abroad for away and international games were always on the lookout for new and exciting garments to bring home and show off. Stone Island, with the one-off and unique nature of a lot of Osti’s fabrics, fit perfectly into this culture of one-upmanship, and the brand’s popularity was cemented from then on.

Because of this association with the hyper-masculine world of football casuals, the brand’s enduring legacy has been as a symbol of manliness. In more recent years, it has been adopted by inner-city kids in the UK as a status symbol, and in turn became associated with the grime music scene. Buoyed up by high-profile collaborations with streetwear giants Supreme and Nike, the brand’s appeal has diversified beyond connoisseurs and collectors, particularly across the Atlantic. Urban music superstars like Drake, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott have all embraced the ‘Stoney’ look of late, skyrocketing interest in a brand that was previously alien to those not living in Europe, and launching its appeal to a whole new generation of streetwear fans.

Stone Island Fabrics: Continuing Innovation

These days, far from being helmed by a single visionary like Massimo Osti or later designer Paul Harvey, Carlo Rivetti has assembled a team of designers to better embrace its newfound worldwide popularity and the diversity of its fanbase, stating “It [is] necessary to be multicultural in order to be truly contemporary … I felt that in this era it is this possible to face all aspects of a world only with several minds and several visions.”

Stone Island Heat Reactive Jacket Details

Stone Island Heat Reactive Jacket

This ethos has lead to the continuation of the innovation and research that Massimo Osti started all those years ago, and Stone Island holds its reputation for using unusual and technologically-advanced fabrics and finishes. Some recent examples:

  • Micro Reps: Stone Island Micro Reps is one of the brand’s staple fabric constructions. A classic nylon, the warp and weft fibres are of different thicknesses, allowing for a much tighter weave than a traditional nylon fabric. This not only provides natural weather resistance, but serves as the ideal base for the brand’s garment dyeing experiments.
  • Nylon Metal: We’ve written about this one before: nylon fibres with an irregular structure are woven as grey weft and white, ready to dye warp threads, and undergo an elaborate double-dyeing process to produce a fabric that has an iridescent sheen in different lighting conditions. This can produce a subtle three-dimensional effect, or be used with bright, contrasting colours to provide some pretty wild results.
  • Tank Shield: Crafted from matte polyester fabric, the whole jacket is first assembled and then internally laminated with overlapping panels of a weatherproof, breathable membrane, giving superior weather resistance and a near-seamless look.
  • Heat Reactive: A highly limited capsule, the Stone Island Heat Reactive jacket from SS19 was a cotton ripstop construction, printed all over with a three-colour fractal camo design in a heat reactive pigment. As the wearer’s body heat warmed the fabric, the pattern became brighter and more prominent, also revealing a large Stone Island logo to the back.

This is just a tiny fraction of the scope of the brand’s vision: the brand’s own historical archive consists of over 7000 pieces, while their research archive is larger still, at over 40,000 items of vintage sportswear and militaria.

Stone Island BadgesStone Island Badge

Aside from the high-end fabrics and construction, perhaps the most important element of a Stone Island product is the removable badge, normally found on the left side of the garment, with the Marina collection breaking the mould and not featuring the badge at all, instead opting for bold text printing.  There are a number of different versions of the badge which denote different aspects of the brand. The standard, most commonly recognised badge is the yellow and green compass rose badge (above left). Despite switching from a green border to a black one, the classic badge has remained unchanged since the brand’s inception, and is a tribute to both the military inspiration of the brand and the sense of adventure and exploration driving Osti’s research.

There are a number of monochromatic badges (above centre) that were originally used for what the brand dubbed Ghost Pieces: with fully tonal designs in a variety of colours, including black, red and white, they were conceived as a kind of modern camouflage, allowing the wearer to blend in while still keeping the unmistakeable Stone Island aesthetic. More recently, the tonal black badge has been used to denote pieces from the Shadow Project diffusion line: combining Stone Island’s technical fabric expertise with directional, futuristic designs from ACRONYM’s Errolson Hugh.

The White Compass badge (above right) is seen on limited edition pieces, often known as ‘Champagne Pieces’ because of the colour of the badge. These jackets often use even more innovative fabrics and construction that can only be created in small quantities, and are often at a higher price point to the normal line, due to the limited nature of their production. Of course, the flipside of this limited aspect is that the pieces become collectors items in years to come, holding their value for a lot longer than others, if not increasing it.

Celebrities Wearing Stone Island

Drake Wearing Stone Island with Carlo Rivetti

Drake with Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti

The Weeknd Wearing Stone Island

The Weeknd in Supreme x Stone Island

As mentioned above, Stone Island has been spotted on more and more celebrities recently. One of the more high-profile representatives of the brand has been music superstar Drake, who seems to wear the brand almost exclusively these days, even going so far as to have custom pieces made for his Boy Meets World tour. Drizzy is joined in his love for Stoney by fellow Canadian star The Weeknd, who was recently spotted wearing pieces from the Supreme x Stone Island collaboration (for extra streetwear kudos), as well as rap mainstays Kanye West and Travis Scott.

Jason Statham Wearing Stone Island

Jason Statham in Stone Island

 

 

 

 

Back over in Blighty, grime artists are often spotted sporting the Compass, including Tinie Tempah and Skepta, while Hollywood hardman Jason Statham is another of the brand’s high profile fans.

 

 

 

 

Stone Island Headquarters Tour Video

In this unique video, Carlo Rivetti opens the door to the Stone Island empire and allows the public a sneak peek at the research and experimentation that goes on behind the scenes.  It offers a fascinating glance into how the brand operates behind closed doors.

David Beckham: Style Icon

As a latter-day saint of all things men’s fashion, what will David Beckham be remembered for the most? What is the former England captain’s legacy? His ability as a footballer came unrivalled, the elder statesmen of the Three Lion’s golden generation, one of the first athletes to build a multimedia empire and captivate celebrity tabloid culture from its inception thanks to his marriage with pop superstar turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham but you knew all this. Whilst his playing style and ability may have left him his menswear style has picked up since the heyday of Posh and Becks, making him the style Icon we know today.

He’s developed this ‘fashion thing’. I saw his transition to a different person… so long as it doesn’t affect his football it doesn’t bother me

-Sir Alex Fergusson

The staple in the wardrobe comes from his now seemingly lifelong deal with adidas, the brand that adorned their 3 stripes to the shoulders of the then Manchester United player and birthed a partnership that saw Becks become one of the most lucratively sponsored athletes in the world, rivaled only by Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods in his heyday. From the moment he announced himself with that long-range effort against Wimbledon to the day he retired with PSG the boot of choice has been adidas’ long-running predator series, a boot that has seen Beckham lend his own white to champagne colourway even post-retirement, and used as inspiration on newer models such as the adidas Sobakov.

Whilst flexible with his adidas deal, the company does allow him to adorn other trainer brands (just nothing with a swoosh), but you’d be relatively hard pushed to find Beckham in an out and out athletic trainer that isn’t a three stripe affiliate. As seen above, Beckham’s variety of adidas have seen themselves being dressed in smarter confides with tapered and cropped trousers replacing his normal raw denim. It’s refreshing seeing someone like Beckham embrace a contemporary style, mixing knit sneakers with tailored menswear for an ultra-smart look, at it brings another facet to his style game.

Embracing American timeless apparel in his stint stateside at LA Galaxy, Beckham’s fashion wouldn’t be complete without the incorporation of a Polo Ralph Lauren tinged outfit. Mixing formal occasions with his unavoidable moments in the public, the Polo logo has sat proudly upon Beckham in a variety of different constraints, but it’s with his dress down fashion that a light pop of chambray works effectively against jeans and T-shirt. Pushing his style into a traditional menswear style has been an updated fashion prerogative in recent years, and his ability to offer a triple threat of streetwear, menswear and formal wear makes him undisputed in his lookbook dominance.

The heritage menswear look demands a robust boot, something that of course Becks has in abundance. With a wildly changing day to day life, one that includes occasional motorbike rides, trips to the country in the Land Rover Defender and touching down in NYC, the ever-ready Beckham packs similarly sensibilitied boot choice to blend with his outfit whether that be the Chelsea Boot style seen above or the Redwing Moc Toe below.

With style developing through influences and environment, is it a surprise that Manchester still holds a huge inspiration for Beckham’s style? A tonal outfit topped off with a pair of Clarks Wallabees, stood next to a Stone Rose poster with a buttoned-up worker jacket. The only way this could be more Manchester is if there was a patch boldly displayed.

An unusual collaboration with Belstaff that has seen 3 capsule collections and a short film also makes total sense considering Beckham’s modern image, tapping into his enthusiasm for motorcycles, and his penchant for jeans, white t-shirt and a biker jacket. All designs are intrinsically Belstaff, celebrating their craftsmanship and motorcycle heritage.

Layering is a key cornerstone of men’s fashion, so it’s no surprise to see Beckham likes to layer items from brands like Canada Goose and Moncler in his cold-weather wardrobe. Known to incorporate pieces from North Face too, it’s the restructured blazers and down gilet that Beckham is known to wear now than his baggier style of the bygone decade.

 

Fred Perry ‘Worn By’

As British as tea and scones, summer showers, queuing for a pint and apologising when it’s not your fault, is the culture kings Fred Perry. The quintessential-ness of the brand’s British display cannot be stressed enough with its effect over mod, punk, and britpop subcultures and all thanks to a British man’s blinding determination to do something better than a foreigner.

As pseudo humble as we are being a nation of underachievers, seeing something so British as Fred Perry draped across the shoulders of celebs is as bizarre as it comes in the fashion world. Although seeing a mass adoption in the beginning of the century thanks to the UK indie scene (good) and that unusual American mid-noughties preppy style that everyone from Zac Efron to Jesse Metcalfe (bad) was trying to work, the adoption by the likes of Drake, A$AP Rocky (and the A$AP Mob) and even dandy dude supreme Robert Pattison has baffled few and influenced many.

Pete Doherty – Twin Tipped Polo

Kate Moss – Wreath Knit

 

Amy Winehouse – Signature Fred Perry collection

A number of notable faces in music have been seen sporting the Fred Perry Laurel Wreath over the years. Celebrities including Paul Weller, Amy Winehouse, Pete Docherty and bands including Oasis, Blur, and Radiohead have all chosen the Fred Perry Lauren Wreath for the brand’s authenticity, style, and timeless design, defining the brand in it’s elder statesmen role at the beginning of the century, all taking the influence from it’s subculture domination of the past. If they’re British rock royalty, then they’ve probably been papped in Fred Perry.

Thom Yorke – Twin Tipped Polo

Freddie Mercury – Twin Tipped Polo

Paul Weller – Twin Tipped Polo

Keeping the ethos of founder Fred “I didn’t set out to be a good sport, Champion was good enough for me” Perry has been at the forefront of the brands approach to marketing and advertising, allowing subcultures and celebrities to bare the heralded logo as a stamp of authenticity. Teaming up with Raf “I like very much to put on fashion shows” Simmons has provided the brand a new lease of authenticity and attraction from high fashion fetishers, taking the wreath and placing it out of its comfort zone and into the hands of rappers, basketballers, RnB artists and oddball actors, reinventing the attraction the brand to fashions current trendsetters.

A$AP Rocky – Twin Tipped Polo

A$AP Nast – Checkerboard Tipped Polo

Drake – Raf Simons x Fred Perry Denim Shirt Jacket

 

Like Raf said;

I’m usually very attracted to things that I can’t define. If something’s too clear, it’s very often not inspiring to me anymore.

and that sums up the approach of the brand in its latter days, working with skaters, the avant-garde, legendary cyclists and retro revivalists. With one common theme, offering the best dressed in British clobber.

 

I was generally regarded as the best-dressed player of my time… I’m a great believer in trying to look the part. It’s a fetish with me.

  • Fred Perry
Kendrick_Lamar_Pulitzer_Header

Kendrick Lamar Rocks the Nike Air Max 98 to Pick Up the Pulitzer Prize

One of the finest albums of 2017, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. grabbed headlines for its poetic and political treatises on the rapper’s life, and the state of American life in general, earning near universal praise from both the press and public. Now Lamar’s achievements have been honoured with the Pulitzer Prize for Music: the first non jazz or classical album to receive the prestigious accolade.

Kendrick_Lamar_Nike_Air_Max_98

Photo: AP

Accepting the award last week, K Dot flexed his personal style in a laid-back ensemble of a Dries Van Noten silk shirt, Rhude side-stripe trousers and finished the luxe look with a pair of Nike’s recent Air Max 98 SE in Sepia Stone. We still have a few pairs available, so while you may never win a Pulitzer Prize, you can at least get some of Kendrick’s style for yourself.

Nike Air Max 98 SE Sepia Stone

Sneakers On Celebs

As Seen On Stars – The Sneaker Edition

Ever dreamt of being able to have the same sneaker rotation as your favourite celebs? Don’t worry it isn’t such a pipe dream, it is possible to look as fresh as ASAP Rocky, Miguel and Drake.
Think it will cost an arm and a leg? Don’t fret, they don’t have a hefty price tag.

Lets start of simple with the classic Vans Old Skool Sneakers, they are not just for the skater boys down the local park doing 360s, they are now a style staple. The pair most seen papped on household names are the classic monochrome pair. The sneakers feature side stripe detail with white stitching, a low top lace up tongue and suede uppers. The rubber waffle outsole adds durability, while the inner padded leather cuff creates a premium finish. Vans Old Skool On Celeb

Nike Air Max 180 OG Sneakers  was one hot potato when it launched the other month.
Celebrating its contribution to the history of the Air Max line, Nike bring back the 1991 Air Max 180 from their archives in its original ‘Ultramarine’ colourway. Featuring mesh uppers with synthetic nubuck overlays, the main focal point is the Max Air bubble to the heel, which visibly extends to the outsole for a unique look. Retooled as a lifestyle model with extra comfort cushioning, the iconic Swoosh appears to the sides, while retro 180 Air branding is printed to the tongue to complete the look.
Nike 180s

adidas Originals Deerupt Runners these sneakers are EVERYWHERE this season, and have been papped on a numerous celebrities. 
This style is adidas’ latest disruptive sneaker silhouette. Sporting mesh uppers set atop a lightweight EVA midsole with an all-over webbing wrap for a geometric look, the Deerupt’s comfort is enhanced with zoned Ortholite cushioning for an all-day smooth ride. With the iconic 3 Stripes conspicuously absent, the Deerupt is finished with subtle tonal branding printed underneath the mesh for a minimal aesthetic. adidas Deerupt Runners Celebs

 

Like what you see? View our full range of sneakers

Drake Wearing Stone Island

Steal His Style: Drake

Drake’s style evolution has been a widely discussed subject. For the past few months, we have seen the Canadian rapper decked out in Stone Island, Nike, Adidas and of course his own brand OVO (October’s Very Own). He’s worth $100 million and one of the most famous musicians in the world, so why would you not want to dress like him?

 

When he wore the Moncler Maya jacket in his 2015 video Hotline Bling, the jacket sales soared, indicating that Drake is a huge style inspiration among the masses. According to an article on High Snobiety, a Moncler spokesperson said the Maya jacket had doubled in sales since the video release. Since wearing Moncler, Drake’s style archive has vastly grown. He’s known to favour the occasional piece of Stone Island, you only need to look at his Instagram to see just how much he wears it. It’s strange to think that a brand that has been for years famously associated with British youth culture is now on the backs of the most famous US rappers, (Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar have also been seen donning the Italian brand). Recently Drake has been sporting casual style, kicking back in a pair of Adidas three stripe joggers and a neutral hoody.

Drake in Stone Island

Photo from realclobber.com

Drake takes streetwear to a new level, mixing simple tees and jeans with baggy silhouettes, layering denim jackets over hoodies and oversized checked shirts to give a whole new vibe. His simplistic look is sometimes vamped up with his range of Stone Island. Only recently he posted a photo of himself in a scarlet red Stone Island corduroy style shirt. A few weeks back we saw a whole new side to Drake as he stepped out in a tailored style coat, trousers and Chelsea style boots.

Find out how you can steal Drake’s style below.

🌪

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

 

Drake Outfit

Hoody, £269, Y-3

Denim jacket, £239, AMI

Jeans, £145, Stone Island

Trainers, £145, Nike 

 

Drake Outfit 2

Jacket, £475, Stone Island 

Trainers, £105, Nike 

Trousers, £185, CP Company

Nike Shoe Therapy Video

A Little Shoe Therapy Is Needed

Nike has been showing us their down-to-earth humorous side recently with the Nothing Beats A Londoner video that released last month, their latest endeavour is in the form of ‘Shoe Therapy’ sessions where athletes like Draymond Green and the Revolution’air’ Sean Wotherspoon go to talk about their uncontrollable Sneaker addiction.

The video holds a slight truth as it’s something most of us can relate to, as your shoes are like a child to you that you nurture and take care of. More videos are going to follow from Nike, but for the moment you can check out their first episode ‘Its Gotta Be The Shoes’ which features American Track athlete and record holder Shalane Flannagan talks to Lena Thwaite about her totally justified obsession with her 4% Vaporfly. I don’t know about you but we are excited to see what sneakers the following episodes cover.

Shia Labeouf if a style icon

Why Is Shia Labeouf Such A Style Icon?

If you’re an active visitor on social media platforms you will have seen Shia Labeouf at some point being referred to as a style god. I know what you’re thinking, “But he just wears old vintage tees, random leggings and some beat up trainers”, and I can’t disagree and say he doesn’t because he does. But, he has the power to make anything look good, the fact he can confidently turn up in a pair of bright pink leggings and still look cool is beyond me. And before he starts getting judged, Ellen Degeneres (From the Ellen Show, of course) made a bet that if he could get snapped by the paparazzi in pink leggings that she would donate $50,000 to cancer research.

Shia Labeouf in Pink Leggings

‘Normcore’ is making a triumphant return, (for those of you who don’t know what that is I’ll sum it up). Normcore is when a person dresses purposefully dull or uncool, making them ironically cool…What a bizarre time we live in right? It goes against the social norms of what makes someone’s style cool and this is why Shia is basically the King of Normcore, so much so that it recently emerged that Kanye West took most of Shia’s wardrobe, and you know if Yeezy is taking your stuff that you’re undeniably fashionable.

How To Dress Like Shia Labeouf

So how can you replicate this look? Well, you have come to the right place, you essentially just need some casual pieces. Items from Patagonia are a great place to start, the brand has a minimal style that doesn’t make waves, but provides amazing comfort for the wearer and the jackets are perfect for layering.

Shia Labeouf in a Patagonia Half-Zip Fleece

Patagonia Better Sweater in Grey

If you want to master the normcore look, you are going to need an oversized jumper that you can throw on every day, Saturdays NYC have an amazing option for you to go with, featuring a simple graphic logo, this can be put with so many different fits and will look great, whilst keeping you insanely snug. Or if you want a military aesthetic like Shia, the recent collection of Made in the USA from APC features military-inspired graphics. The beauty of this sort of style is, even if you wear it all relentlessly it’ll help the casual aesthetic. The weird part of it is, it takes a lot of effort to look like you haven’t made any effort, but it is totally worth it.

Shia Labeouf in a marine jumper

APC US Star Sweatshirt in Grey

Nine times out of ten you will catch Shia in a cap, whether it’s because he wants to try to remain anonymous or not that up for debate, but he always chooses to have some simple embroidery on them, one of his most notable caps is an insanely beat up 2nd Armored Division cap, which he wears frequently and even shares with Kanye. If you want the same style cap but with a simpler logo and a more wearable appeal then look no further than the Norse Projects Twill Cap for an effortless way to finish your ultra-casual look.

Shia Labeouf armored division cap

Norse Projects Cap in Light Twill Navy

 

The Brands That Men’s Style Icons Wore

When it comes to what to wear we are constantly looking for inspiration, with social media heavily influencing our choices of what’s hot and what’s not. It’s safe to say there’s a multitude of originality available to us, including celebrity style. Some of the most iconic celebrities have shaped the way we dress and what designers we wear, as FASHIONBEANS illustrates in their latest blog post “the brands that men’s style icons wore.”

The article details renowned stars, James Dean and Steve Mcqueen, with particular attention paid to their shared love of the classic Baracuta Harrington jacket, noting Steve’s ability to bring a masculine finish to his style, whatever the occasion.

” As one of the best dressed men of all time, Steve McQueen is a name that needs no introduction on a list of style icons. Regularly referred to as the ‘King of Cool’, the late actor’s ability to bring a masculine edge to both smart and casual looks is still one of the most sought after wardrobe skills. ”

If you would like to read the full article on “brands that men’s style icons wore,” head over to FASHIONBEANS or take a look at our range of Baracuta G9 jackets.