Premium Italian menswear label Stone Island is recognized globally by the signature emblems adorned on each piece of clothing the company produces. The label has come a long way since 1982, transforming from a fútbol hooliganism subculture mainstay in films like Green Street Hooligans and The Football Factory to today’s modern day Nike collaborator and mainstream streetwear staple. In an interview with Oliver Sharp from GQ Style, Carlo Rivetti, the man behind the brand, talks about the influence of fútbol, and aspects of fashion.
Check out some excerpts below and read the full interview here.
I think that army, sports and performance garments are very inspirational – and I think that in the DNA of Stone Island functionality is important. For instance the new army camouflage in Italy. Do you know the Carabinieri? They are the most important police in Italy, and [their new uniform has] unbelievable new patterns and beautiful new pockets.
On leaving the badge on or taking it off:
I think it’s really up to you. We started at the beginning with a removable badge and then five or six years we started putting two buttons inside – on the left side, the side of our hearts. This was so that people who didn’t want to wear the badge wouldn’t leave it at home, they could put it inside their jackets. So perhaps you don’t wear it, but you always have it with you. That’s the idea.
On keeping subcultures happy:
In the last ten years we focused on countries [in Europe] such as the UK and Italy – funnily they are all a one and a half hour flights from Milano! Then we started thinking to the US [as] one of the key points that we focused on was that I didn’t want to change language. The big differences between the US and us? Our customers here know the story perfectly – there is a sort of club. So the idea is that now in the US, we must be story-telling. What I hope in the US is that there are also people who can understand our language, our history, and appreciate it.
Favorite Inter Milan player:
Well, I must mention two names. One, is our president that passed away ten years ago, Giacinto Facchetti – he was a real prince. He was playing in the Sixties – when we won the champions league, twice (then the Europa Cup) – but he was such a contemporary player, because he scored a huge number of goals playing in defence. And he was really a gentleman.
Then, of course you have Javier Zanetti – El Capitano! He arrived because Inter wanted to by a striker from an Argentinian team, who said, “if you want to buy this guy, you have to also take this defensive player.” Inter agreed just to close the deal and then the forward was really terrible and Zanetti, who had no expectations, was really good. And, again, another real gentleman on the field.