We Sent A Stone Island Nut To Interview Massimo Osti’s Son
Stone Island is one of those uncommon manufacturers that evokes absurd levels of devotion in its customers. Like Supreme, Nike and Jordan, guys are glad to throw their whole financial institution accounts at the Italian label just so as to add that one *essential* piece to their already massive collections. The brand conjures up such loopy loyalty in people because it presents a unique combination of a wealthy, vibrant historical past and next-stage innovation. Stone Island (or “Stoney” as it’s affectionately recognized in the UK) uses insane fabrics that make its garments change color, glow in the dead of night or appear to be they’ve been worn for decades.
The architect of Stone Island’s iconic place in menswear was Massimo Osti. The Italian designer revolutionized the trend industry from the ’80s onwards, and was utilizing innovative techniques to create excessive-performance menswear 30 years earlier than anyone ever mentioned the phrase “athleisure.” Osti’s work attracts obsessive followers who fetishize his creations in all their types: whether or not it’s for Stone Island, C.P. Firm, Left Hand Productions or the ultra-uncommon World Wide Internet label.
Osti sadly handed away in 2005, abandoning an enormous archive of groundbreaking garments, designs and fabrics. Massimo’s son, Lorenzo, has carried on his father’s work — he’s now the marketing director for C.P. Firm — and just lately took part of his family archive to coincide with the relaunch of the Concepts From Massimo Osti e-book, in partnership with the Jacket Required tradeshow. The 432-web page archive is a should-have for Osti fans, and is jam-packed with sketches, photographs and ramblings on the design legend’s work.
Highsnobiety was given the unique opportunity to talk with Lorenzo, and fairly than do a simple Skype call or electronic mail interview, we acquired our favourite Stone Island mega-fan, Ollie Evans, to head down as a substitute. Ollie runs Too Sizzling stone island jacket canada Limited, a London-based mostly archive of vintage bangers that sells archival Stone Island, C.P Company and different Osti-affiliated labels, alongside treasures from the likes of Burberry, Moschino and Prada. He’s a next-stage Osti fan, and also contributed to our in-depth historical past of Stone Island.
What was it like rising up in Bologna
It was very thrilling, I’ve been very lucky, the place was very active from a cultural perspective, and we had been in the course of all of that. My father was already fairly profitable and all our mates have been musicians and artists. Our house was an open home — not kidding, at dinner time people would ring us and say “is there one thing to eat here ” So every day from Monday – Sunday there were 10 folks at house.
As a small baby I remember I by no means wanted to go to sleep — it was very exciting. I’ve been very fortunate with every little thing that happened to my father and his work and for being in that setting at that time. It was very stimulating.
Did you spend loads of time in your father’s studio as a toddler
Solely after he moved to a studio near our home. For the primary 10-15 years of his profession he was working the place the company was based in Ravarino, where the manufacturing facility is. He based C.P. Company and what is now referred to as Sportswear Firm [the manufacturers of trendy Stone Island] in Ravarino. He was going there on a regular basis earlier than I woke up and coming again when I used to be asleep.
I used to see him one or two days a week, however after that, when he was drained along with his life, he moved again to the office close to our home [Massimo left C.P. Company and Stone Island in 1995]. I used to spend full days there playing with the Xerox copier and fabrics, it was tremendous enjoyable.
What was the artistic course of like there
From a artistic point of view he was pretty much by himself, however I always remember people working round him bringing him things — do this, try this.
Did you’re taking you take a lot of samples for yourself
It was a playground for me. Once i used to go to the corporate in Ravarino I used to be normally provided with a giant plastic bag and that i could take no matter I needed. It was like running to the store and taking no matter you need without paying, “oh this I’ll take in blue, yellow,” and naturally it was a little bit of a waste generally. I used to be 10 years outdated! I remember going back with luggage stuffed with garments that I couldn’t even raise up.
How did your stone island jacket canada father’s background as a graphic designer affect his strategy to style
His profession in vogue began from a graphic design perspective. He was requested to design some T-shirts for a model known as Anna Gobbo. It was extremely successful, they offered very effectively, so that they made one other assortment and one other. Then he began experimenting with garment dying on the T-shirts as a result of he didn’t like it when the print was standing out a lot — he thought “let’s start to dye this.” Then from the T-shirt to the shirt, to the pants — and every thing was born.
Graphics remained very influential for his whole profession as a result of he was used to being a communication individual. He was used to taking good care of all of the communication of the model by himself. All of the catalogues had been made on the studio, all of the graphic design was made right here, all the things beneath his direct control. He was growing the garments, however at the identical time he was overseeing all of the communication, catalogues and advertising.
Your father’s garment technologies and innovations revolutionized the industry. Which one do you assume had the most influence
I believe it’s the garment dying. I don’t need to say invention, he didn’t actually invent it, garment dying has existed endlessly. When you have an outdated garment and you need to cowl a spot, you dye over it. But he made it a scientific industrial process and introduced it to a degree that had not been attainable to imagine earlier than: dying leather, multiple supplies and all of this stuff.
His other fabric inventions like Raso Ray (polyurethane-coated cotton) and Tinto Capo (the dying method) are good, and vital, but they didn’t have this extensive influence that garment dying had. Garment dying really modified the look of the garment, from stiff and out-of-the-box to worn-in and informal. It actually created this contemporary sportswear look, and naturally everybody else adopted it.
Back at the Massimo Osti Archive exhibition this morning.
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Navy know-how and design had been huge influences in your father’s work, where did this curiosity stem from
He needed to review military and workwear because all the pieces is there for a purpose, each factor has a operate, there is no such thing as a aesthetic stuff, no decoration. He also stated he wished to review the fabric of navy garments as a result of they don’t have problems with funds, they don’t have the issue that the garment can’t price more than a specific amount. They only go for the very best performing factor they’ll discover, so he stated that it was the right inspiration for him.
From there he started sending folks to go and buy vintage navy and workwear clothes — first it was my mom, then he had somebody devoted to that. They used to come back to London two or 3 times a yr to go to previous markets, buy the whole lot they found interesting and ship it back to Bologna to the archive.
How did the archive get to the purpose we’re at right now
At a certain level of his life he was prepared to go away the business. He didn’t wish to design anymore and he determined to promote the entire archive to Mr. David Chu, the proprietor of Nautica, but then he didn’t really stop. At that stage the archive was 38-39,000 items — enormous, a lot! It was an issue for us to manage, we had 25 industrial containers parked outdoors and it was nearly unattainable to go through things one-by-one. It was a bit overwhelming so he determined to eliminate everything.
As a family we now have a set of really key garments at house, so my father started bringing these once more to the studio. He wanted something to work on for his small tasks, so he started to gather once more. After that he labored for Levi’s (Industrial Clothing Division), he made the WWW (World Large Web) undertaking, the Superga undertaking. So he went again to purchasing some previous vintage navy stuff as a result of that stuff was lacking, so we rebuilt the archive, he went on doing that and now we now have roughly 5,000 garments.
I think the heart of the archive just isn’t the garments. The garments are nice, however the Rivetti household and Sportswear Company have a a lot, much bigger archive than us. C.P. Company’s archive is far larger than our archive, but we even have an enormous fabric archive of samples — more than 55,000 pattern pieces of fabric.
Additionally now we have the paper archive. We kept all my father’s designs, all of the Xerox copies, it’s all categorized. You will note this within the book, it’s probably the most fascinating part as a result of the garments are good however everyone else owns them.
You’ve simply published a second edition of the Ideas From Massimo Osti ebook. How did you go about collating all that archive material into one e book
It almost value my mother a nervous breakdown! I’m kidding however she made it, she made most of the effort. It took 4 years, because when my father passed away, actually nothing was categorized. He handed and we went into the studio, all the things was left because it was the day earlier than — we had to go through the whole lot paper by paper. “This is bullshit, this is nice.” Then my mother out of all this started to create a story.
We decided how we might talk about what my father did — so many, many issues. We drew three foremost blocks, inside one is the historical past of the manufacturers, the other one is the fabric improvements, one other part is the way in which he reinterpreted the traditional menswear shapes. Then there is a facet part of off-work or collateral tasks that my father was very energetic with; he was designing some furniture, he was performing some politics.
Massimo Osti portrait signed by Lorenzo Osti taking pleasure of place within the studio as we speak.
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There has been a current resurgence of curiosity in your father’s work, thanks in part to the Stone Island x Supreme collabs which reimagined his unique designs. What has it been like to see a new era uncover his work
I don’t see it that manner. Presumably you’re proper, however I don’t see my father’s hand an excessive amount of in that. I believe it’s been a really attention-grabbing move as a result of it’s allowed Stone Island to really discuss to a different viewers and they’ve been extremely successful doing that, so I believe it’s an excellent operation.
There has additionally been a current explosion in curiosity in vintage objects designed by your father. What’s it prefer to see his authentic work again in the spotlight
Very thrilling and shocking, because I perceive that the individuals who saw the first period of the model remained in love with it, however seeing new generations enthusiastic about it has been a surprise for us. From one side there was all this revamp of the ’80s and at the same time, not less than in Italy, there was a resurgence of authenticity and individuality. In all probability folks see more of this within the Osti merchandise from that era. Extra authenticity, and the possibility of collecting vintage things which are actually completely different from the remainder of the gang.
Your father’s brands have at all times appealed to youth subcultures, Paninaro in Italy, Casuals within the UK and now an American streetwear audience. What’s it about his work that appeals to those groups
We knew about Paninari because it was a extremely mainstream phenomenon in the ’80s and we were promoting a lot due to them. It was not like this for the terrace informal tradition. I by no means had a conversation with my father about it, and I’m fairly sure he didn’t find out about it; he knew the model was liked within the UK however nothing more. My father was not even English speaking, and it was not as easy as it’s as we speak with the web to get that close to the tip consumer.
I found all of this when i began to advertise the archive, because I had never labored with my father instantly. I actually prevented that, we had a short expertise — one year in manufacturing — however I really ran away, it’s horrible to work with dad and mom, don’t do it! [laughs]
When my father handed away I had to take care of some his enterprise, and that i found this UK subculture — people were writing, wanting to visit the archive, to pay homage. I began relationships with some of them and discovered all about it, and it’s been superb. Honestly it has been the engine for us to do the guide and all of this.
Once we saw there were people who have been so truly, deeply passionate about our father, we really felt touched. In Italy it’s not like that: regular folks know nothing. We now have all this treasure right here, there are individuals who really love this, so we thought let’s do one thing about it, and all this began.
What’s it about your father’s work that conjures up such devotion in people
I don’t know, this is mostly a phenomenon. I haven’t any answer to that. Why the Paninari adopted us is a thriller. My father couldn’t be further away from that kind of tradition! It was a total mainstream culture, about adopting manufacturers without pondering and all people dressing the same. From the casuals I had a feeling it was really a ardour about Stone Island, they felt the authenticity and the eagerness that my father put into everything he was doing. By some means they got this, they could identify with it.