The History Of Stone Island
Being an Englishman in the streetwear scene, you notice that there’s a bit of a one-means cultural dialog going on. Everybody knows American Stone Island News road tradition. Just about the whole world wears Jordans and Supreme, listens to Kanye West and drops American slang. Streetwear was born in the USA, so the scenario is inevitable, actually.
Just lately, though, British cultural exports have been gaining traction over in the States. Drake and Skepta are greatest mates now, Palace Skateboards is approaching Supreme ranges of hype and some of my New York counterparts have even began saying “ting” on Instagram.
The most recent development in streetwear’s romance with British tradition is Stone Island, a label that’s quickly picking up steam over within the States. It may be Italian in origin, but the model, and its unmistakeable compass emblem, has been an inescapable part of UK road style for decades.
Stone Island – or “Stoney” as it’s affectionately identified – just lately opened an LA flagship, and is within the third year of what’s proving to be a particularly in style Supreme collaboration. It doesn’t hurt that rappers like Drake and Travis Scott are giving the brand’s iconic arm patch a ton of exposure to individuals who would normally by no means see it.
The rap scene has taken to the label in such a manner that A$AP Nast and Travis Scott even had a bit of on-line beef over it. Seeing American rappers argue over who found Stoney first is a cultural mindfuck of hilarious proportions – sort of like the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales beefing over Biggie and Tupac.
Given the momentum that Stone Island is building throughout the Atlantic, we thought we’d take the opportunity to teach our American readers on the brand’s wealthy background, and its importance in UK type.
“Stone Island is steeped in history, tradition and sensible design,” Ollie Evans of Too Sizzling Restricted instructed me. Ollie is a London-primarily based reseller of archive Stone Island gear, and has been dealing vintage items from the brand for years. He first encountered Stoney method back in 1999, when the Birmingham City Zulu firm (a firm being a crew of hardcore football fans) was carrying it to raves in Birmingham.
“Stone Island has had a cult following in Europe for the reason that very beginning,” Ollie defined. “It was first adopted by the Paninaro youth in Italy within the ’80s – their type was very much inspired by ’50s Americana, however combined with sporty Italian designer labels. It was around this period that British soccer fans, following their teams to European Cup games, started bringing back some of these similar labels to put on on terraces within the UK, appropriating the Paninaro look and constructing their own subculture around it.”
It’s unimaginable to talk about Stone Island with out mentioning terrace casuals, a subculture of diehard football supporters with a taste for flashy designer labels that emerged within the UK within the ’80s. Fairly than carrying their team’s colors like previous generations of hooligans, casuals selected to avoid attention from the police and rival corporations by flaunting flashy designer labels as an alternative.
“These brands had been initially very onerous to source and only available in Europe, so a tradition of 1-upmanship emerged with guys attempting to outdo one another with rarer, dearer and extra innovative items. Stone Island fitted perfectly into this, with their boundary-pushing designs. The brand is an integral a part of what is named casual tradition.”
Stone Island suited the casual movement’s tastes completely – it’s costly, visually putting and the brand’s arm patch permits followers to identify each other with out drawing unwanted consideration. Stoney’s id is, whether or not the model likes it or not, inextricably tied to hooliganism, and you’ll find that compass patch on terraces and football grounds in all places from Middlesborough to Moscow.
Nowadays, although, the brand has grown past just casuals and can be present in powerful, inner-metropolis neighborhoods across the country – significantly in London – and to many, the brand’s iconic arm patch is a raw expression of butch masculinity. The grime scene has taken to it in a giant way – which might be how Drake discovered the brand, given his newfound fondness for the style and his shut links with Skepta and Boy Higher Know.
While the label will probably be forever related (to an extent) with tough-guy hooligans and streetwise hood rats, at the end of the day Stone Island is about boundary-pushing technology and innovative fabrics. “It’s almost a cliche to talk about innovation in relation to Stone Island,” Ollie defined. “They are – and always have been – continually pushing the boundaries of garment technology, creating product that’s contemporary and that nobody else would even consider. Stone Island have been producing reflective and heat-reactive garments since the ’80s, way before anyone else.”
It’s straightforward to see how Stone Island’s high-tech, military-inspired design language resonates with the extra macho, masculine end of the menswear market. “It’s an actual boy’s model.” Ollie added. “It’s like, Wow, this jacket changes color! This one’s reflective! This one’s made of stainless steel! It’s a real culture of one-upmanship and attempting to look higher than your mates.”
Stone Island owes its placing aesthetic and dedication to innovation to its designer Massimo Osti, who founded the model in 1982, to run alongside his different brands CP Company and Boneville. Osti left Stone Island in 1995 to discovered Massimo Osti Productions and Left Hand, earlier than passing away in 2005.
“Massimo Osti set the blueprint for Stone Island and his legacy still informs where it is right this moment. He’s the man who introduced us reflective jackets, colour-changing heat-reactive jackets, polyurethane-lined weather protecting jackets, reversible jackets, twin-layer jackets with removable linings. These are all ideas that are actually commonplace, and that i guarantee that each main style house on the earth has some of his work of their archive someplace.”
In actual fact, Supreme’s ongoing collaboration with Stoney features many homages to Osti’s work. “I’m a huge fan of Osti’s ’80s and early ’90s designs, so it’s incredible to see that work referenced once more within the Supreme collaborations,” Ollie continued. “The marina-model stripes, the heat-reactive jackets, the Tela Stella anorak (centerpiece of Supreme x Stone Island SS15) and the helicopter jacket with the goggles from their first collab are all Osti’s.”
It’s a very fascinating time for each Stone Island and Supreme. The 2 manufacturers have mens stone island belt come a good distance from their roots, and discover themselves treading unfamiliar floor. Stone Island is approaching a transatlantic viewers that has little or no data of the brand’s historical past, innovation and cultural significance – just a few co-indicators from rappers and a collaboration with probably the most hyped streetwear model on the planet.
Supreme, in contrast, is attracting an more and more younger audience that has a lot much less understanding of the brand’s historical past and irreverent, counter-cultural tendencies. Each Supreme and Stone Island face the identical problem: methods to grow into new areas and entice a larger viewers, while protecting their respective credibilities and histories intact.
Ollie’s mission, Too Hot Restricted, stocks archival gems from Stone Island alongside pieces from different terrace informal favorites, like Polo Ralph Lauren, C.P. Firm (Massimo Osti’s first label), Prada Sport (the Italian luxury house’s brief foray into sportswear), Iceberg and Burberry. Too Hot additionally presents a glimpse back in time by way of its in-home editorials, which serve as wistful tributes to the flashy, designer label gear that was all the fashion within the UK in the ’90s and ’00s.