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For 30 years, Stone Island has resided at the intersection between function and aesthetics. Now, the Massimo Osti-founded label’s blend of technology and streamlined style is being celebrated with Stone Island Archivio ‘982-‘012, a book commemorating its 30th anniversary, as well as over 200 pieces of fashion history. Port Magazine’s David Hellqvist recently had a chance to sit down with Carlo Rivetti, the brand’s creative director for a discussion on the origins of Stone Island, the Italian label’s positioning in the fashion world, and its biggest challenges going forward.
The full feature can be seen here.
How and when did you get involved with Stone Island?
Carlo Rivetti: Massimo Osti founded Stone Island in 1982. I joined the business a year later. After Massimo, I asked Paul Harvey to design the brand and he successfully did that for 12 years. In 2008, I took as Creative Director. I believed that times had changed and that it was no longer right to have one only designer. I gathered a multicultural group of designers in order to better translate the identity of the brand and to carry on with our conceptual ideas.
Where did the name ‘Stone Island’ come from?
Stone Island was born, almost by chance, based on a fabric – a reversible truck tarpaulin cloth, resin-treated red on one side, blue on the other – that had nothing to do with the clothing world. We tried to create a garment with it, but it turned out to be too stiff. So we put it through an extreme stone wash. The result was surprising, unlike anything we had seen before: a substantial yet soft fabric, with a worn and highly appealing appearance, extremely unusual. The result, Tela Stella, was such an incredible innovation that we developed it into a collection of seven coats and jackets in six different colours. The strong identity of this project, so different from all the rest, also needed a name. The name was found in two English words that were coming up repeatedly in Joseph Conrad’s novels: Stone and Island.
After 30 years of Stone Island, what’s been the brand’s biggest impact and legacy on fashion?
A friend once made a very interesting analogy; Stone Island is to the garment business what Oakley is to sunglasses. When the first Oakley products appeared on the market, they changed the rules of the game. They were uniquely themselves. When the first Stone Island jackets appeared in store windows, no one had seen anything like them before.
What are the biggest challenges you face going forward?
Never stop! Carrying on looking forward, keeping the correct the approach, passion and energy!