Simon Czarnocki has been collecting Stone Island for the past five years. Fascinated by the craftsmanship and design that goes into each garment, Czarnocki has built up a collection of over 30 pieces. Speaking exclusively to Aphrodite as part of our Q&A series, Simon reveals just what he loves about the innovative Italian brand that has remained a true icon in the world of menswear.
Hello Simon, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Simon Czarnocki. I’m a Stone Island enthusiast that has been collecting for the past five years. I live just outside of Glasgow and have knowledge of Stone Island although I am no expert. My passion is clobber and it’s led me on a journey that has opened many doors for me. Through my interest in Stone Island, I’ve met many top lads and have been privileged in pointing people in the right direction due to my knowledge of the brand.
What was it about Stone Island that first drew you into buying their pieces?
Honestly, nowadays a lot of people get drawn into Stone Island through football. For me, it was more about the history of Stone Island and the research that goes into every single garment that is produced. I remember sitting puzzled for the first time reading about this jacket that could change colour with temperature, that instantly attracted me to the brand in itself because it’s something that no one else had done, and after that, I thought to myself if they can do that, what else can they do? After a lot of time reading into the brand you realize that you’re paying for more than just a badge.
Can you remember buying your first Stone Island piece and what was it? How old were you?
I was 17. I remember having a part-time job and not pulling in much money at the time. I’d had my eye on this jacket for about a year by this point and still couldn’t afford it, nor could I find it anywhere because it was from the previous year’s season and was sold out everywhere. This day I was browsing through some retailers as I usually do online, this jacket finally popped up. I was still short on money and had to find a way to get it on my back. I had an off-road motorbike at the time and luckily knew a lad who had been interested in it for a while, an hour or two after I had spotted the jacket online, the bike was gone and the cash was in the bank. It was a Stone Island Ice field jacket from A/W 2012.
How many pieces do you have in your collection?
Right now I’ve got around 39 pieces. A mixture of jackets, jumpers, trousers. Most of the collection is built up by jackets though, jackets are my thing.
Is there any Stone Island piece that you haven’t been able to get that you’ve really wanted?
I’ve got a list the length of my arm. There are some garments out there I will never be able to source due to age and low production. I don’t think the list will ever get shorter, every new season of Stone Island there will always be that piece you wish you had bought, but by the time you come around to get it. it’s gone, dead stock. One piece for me, and I’m sure many others want has to be the 30/30 Jacket. A true holy grail for Stone Island collectors, trying to find one in your size and in good condition is a total challenge and you had better have a pretty penny to splash out for one.
What is your favourite piece in your collection and why?
My favourite piece is the blue liquid reflective jacket from A/W 2011. The jacket peels in areas of stress due to the glass particles inside the material and gives off a rugged type of look like most reflective garments. The majority of people who own one of these try to sell it on before it gets worse, but personally, I think it adds a bit of character to the jacket.
Are there any other brands that you like to wear?
I’ve got a fair bit of Gucci & Moncler. Other than that I prefer my casual wear, a lot of Adidas. I’m not passionate about any other clothing brand though. Many other collectors I know love their CP Company, MA.STRUM etc. It’s just never caught my eye or done it for me. Stick to what you know I suppose!
What would your ideal Stone Island collaboration be?
Stone Island hit it off with Supreme, I don’t think you could ask for a better collab. Nike was good, but nothing special. I’d personally like to see a link up with North Face, that would be some serious research and design come together.
Which direction do you see the brand heading in the future?
It can only expand, it would be great to see the brand recognised more for the craftsmanship and time that goes into each project they do rather than the football and hooliganism status the brand has taken on over the years. There is a massive community for the brand, I’ve gained many friends through clobber & believe that is another reason why the brand is so successful and will only ever grow in numbers.
Aphrodite stock a wide range of Stone Island jackets and clothing.