More so than most brands, Stone Island inspires a sense of community and culture within its devotees, whether they’ve been fans for months or decades. The brand’s processes for creating their innovative textile dyeing and treatments are the stuff of legend, and are often shrouded in mystery. Recently, our store manager Iain was given the Golden Ticket of Stone Island fans: the chance to travel to Italy to Stone Island HQ, and meet with the main man himself, Carlo Rivetti. Despite being the envy of all the Stone Island heads here at Aphrodite, Iain has kindly shared the story of this once-in-a-lifetime trip with us, along with some photos.
Walking into Terminal 5 at 6.15am, I was filled with excitement. I was meeting twenty other Stone Island-clad individuals from the likes of Harrods, Liberty’s, Browns and Pockets to name just a few.
We arrived in Bologna at lunchtime and boarded a private coach that took us to a fantastic, very Italian little pizzeria for as much pizza as we could eat. Back on the coach, we set off for Tintoria Emiliana S.R.L. in Modena, the garment-dyeing factory. We were given a full tour of the facility which included all the various ways to garment dye different fabrics [unfortunately, due to the sensitive and secretive nature of the processes, no photography was allowed].
After a quick change of clothes and a couple of beers, we were whisked off to dinner. Entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the man himself, Carlo Rivetti, with a handshake and a kiss to both cheeks. He then joined us for a 6 or 7 course Italian feast.
Waking up the next morning, I knew this was the big day: a trip to Stone Island headquarters in Ravarino. Just driving in and seeing the Stone Island wall made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Carlo was there again to greet us with the enthusiasm of someone who’d just taken delivery of their dream car. He took us around every inch of the place, including the design room, production room, cutting room and the unbelievable archive, where over 45,000 pieces are stored, labelled by season and designer.
After catching our breath, we were once again treated to a typically Italian lunch at another fantastic restaurant. Then, the icing on the cake, as Carlo walked in and sat opposite me. We sat and talked for nearly two hours about all kinds of things: his house in the mountains overlooking Mont Blanc; his border collie; and his collection of over 500 ties.
Upon leaving the restaurant it was more handshakes and kisses, before Carlo showed off his rare Stone Island Manchester t-shirt, then he was off to catch a flight to Milan.
After struggling to believe what just happened, we were whisked off to visit Officina della Maglia, the Italian knitwear factory, where we were given another no-holds-barred tour to see every process, including a lot of hand detailing. More handshakes, more farewells, then it was time to make our way to the airport to catch the flight home.
I’ve always been a fan of Stone Island since the mid-to-late 80s, but after this experience my love for the brand has grown deeper, and I know will never die. Thank you Stone Island and Carlo Rivetti for a trip that will stay with me for the rest of my life. xx
Thanks to Iain for sharing his adventure, and thanks again to Stone Island, Carlo Rivetti and Four Marketing for making this possible. Read more about Stone Island here at the Aphrodite blog, and discover our Stone Island range in our Sunderland store and online.