Stone Island

Stone Island at Fabric

Stone Island is one of the best known brands in mens designer sports and technical wear. In the past they have been associated with the football casuals culture but the brand are quick to disassociate themselves from the movement.  Their history of garment dyeing and fabric research is one of the most in depth you will encounter and it is that which defines the brand. Speak to any knowledgable retailer and they will explain to you the brand’s history and why it is revered by many, attracting collectors and connoisseurs of the brand.

The Stone Island family have deep roots in the clothing industry, back in the 19th century like father like son took to textiles like a duck to water. Giuseppe Rivetti – son of Giovanni Battista was the first carding machine operator in the Italy at that time and this passion for textiles was inherited by his son. In order for him to continue in his father’s footsteps he needed to raise funds for his very own wool factory, so set about selling the family cattle secretly to pay for new looms to carry on the business. In 1872 he opened his own wool factory, it wasn’t till much later in the 1920’s that other members of the family came together to join forces in this family business. It was Uncle Pinot in particular that was sent to lead the company and it was his unique ideas for rubberising woollen fabrics to increase their properties and performances. It was these ideas that have carried through the brand to this very day, with the spirit of innovation and the passion for research they are always pushing the boundaries of what they can do. They strongly believes that the future of clothing is in sportswear and informal wear. The Stone Island collections strongly referenced a military style and the badge that made the brand famous was inspired by military stripes and insignia. The infamous compass on the badge symbolised “the love for the sea and an aim for constant research”.

In 1994 whilst on a buying trip in Munich Carlo Rivetti stumbled upon a small German brand. This was about the time when he was looking for a new creative director for the company. Paul Harvey was the English designer behind the brand and after contacting him regarding joining and fronting the designing for the company Paul joined the team ind 1996 and was made the creative director. Paul designed with Stone Island for twenty four collections. In this time he did not try to change the brand, but consistently evolved and researched new ideas, it was this that always set the company apart from other companies, and this is still true today. After the parting of twelve wonderful years working together with Paul it was time again to find a new creative director. This time it was apparent that times had changed and it was time to radically change things. It was no longer the drive for a one man team but to be multicultural in order to truly be contemporary. Stone Island’s view on this was to “Create a team of several minds and several visions to face all aspects of a world that is gradually becoming more and more fragmented and difficult to interpret: and this has been Stone Island from 2008 till today”.

The drive and dedication that continually goes into the fabric research has resulted in some exclusive word-wide fabrics for Stone Island:

  • Raso Gommato – A waterproof and rubberised military cotton satin
  • Nylam – A waterproof, nylon jersey that is laminated to semi-stretch nylon webbing
  • Monobava II (A 4 ply water resistant shell lining. The inner lay is a mono filament nylon netting with a polyurethane coated finish to each sid

At any one time, up to 6 colours might be used in the dyeing process of one single garment. One particular research  feature into functionality and use in garments resulted in the investigation of over 40,000 pieces of military and workwear. This gives you an insight into the extent of the value that Stone Island puts on research and design.