The Historical past Of Stone Island
Being an Englishman within the streetwear scene, you notice that there’s a bit of a one-manner cultural conversation going on. Everybody is aware of American road culture. Pretty much the complete world wears Jordans and Supreme, listens to Kanye West and drops American slang. Streetwear was born within the USA, so the situation is inevitable, really.
Not too long ago, though, British cultural exports have been gaining traction over within the States. Drake and Skepta are best mates now, Palace Skateboards is approaching Supreme levels of hype and some of my New York counterparts have even began saying “ting” on Instagram.
The most recent growth in streetwear’s romance with British tradition is Stone Island, a label that’s rapidly picking up steam over within the States. It could also be Italian in origin, but the brand, and its unmistakeable compass emblem, has been an inescapable a part of UK street style for many years.
Stone Island – or “Stoney” as it’s affectionately identified – just lately opened an LA flagship, and is within the third 12 months of what’s proving to be a particularly widespread Supreme collaboration. It doesn’t harm that rappers like Drake and Travis Scott are giving the brand’s iconic arm patch a ton of publicity to individuals who would usually never 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 discovered Stoney first is a cultural mindfuck of hilarious proportions – type of just like the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales beefing over Biggie and Tupac.
Given the momentum that Stone Island is building across the Atlantic, we thought we’d take the chance to teach our American readers on the brand’s wealthy background, and its importance in UK style.
“Stone Island is steeped in historical past, tradition and good design,” Ollie Evans of Too Hot Restricted told me. Ollie is a London-based reseller of archive Stone Island gear, and has been dealing vintage items from the brand for years. He first encountered Stoney means again in 1999, when the Birmingham City Zulu firm (a agency being a crew of hardcore soccer followers) was wearing it to raves in Birmingham.
“Stone Island has had a cult following in Europe for the reason that very starting,” Ollie defined. “It was first adopted by the Paninaro youth in Italy in the ’80s – their fashion was very a lot inspired by ’50s Americana, but combined with sporty stone island jumper cruise Italian designer labels. It was round this interval that British soccer followers, following their groups to European Cup games, began bringing back some of these same labels to put on on terraces within the UK, appropriating the Paninaro look and building their very own subculture round it.”
It’s impossible to discuss Stone Island with out mentioning terrace casuals, a subculture of diehard soccer supporters with a taste for flashy designer labels that emerged within the UK in the ’80s. Reasonably than carrying their team’s colours like previous generations of hooligans, casuals chose to keep away from consideration from the police and rival companies by flaunting flashy designer labels instead.
“These brands were initially very exhausting to supply and solely obtainable in Europe, so a culture of 1-upmanship emerged with guys making an attempt to outdo one another with rarer, costlier and extra progressive items. Stone Island fitted completely into this, with their boundary-pushing designs. The brand is an integral part of what is called informal tradition.”
Stone Island suited the casual movement’s tastes completely – it’s costly, visually striking and the brand’s arm patch permits followers to determine each other with out drawing undesirable attention. Stoney’s identity is, whether or not the model likes it or not, inextricably tied to hooliganism, and you’ll discover that compass patch on terraces and soccer grounds in all places from Middlesborough to Moscow.
These days, although, the model has grown past just casuals and could be present in robust, inner-metropolis neighborhoods throughout the nation – notably in London – and to many, the brand’s iconic arm patch is a uncooked expression of butch masculinity. The grime scene has taken to it in a giant manner – which might be how Drake discovered the model, given his newfound fondness for the style and his shut stone island jumper cruise hyperlinks with Skepta and Boy Higher Know.
While the label shall be ceaselessly related (to an extent) with tough-guy hooligans and streetwise hood rats, at the tip of the day Stone Island is about boundary-pushing technology and modern fabrics. “It’s virtually a cliche to discuss innovation in relation to Stone Island,” Ollie defined. “They are – and always have been – continually pushing the boundaries of garment expertise, creating product that’s contemporary and that nobody else would even think of. Stone Island have been producing reflective and heat-reactive garments for the reason that ’80s, manner earlier than anybody else.”
It’s straightforward to see how Stone Island’s high-tech, navy-inspired design language resonates with the extra macho, masculine finish 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 from stainless steel! It’s an actual tradition of 1-upmanship and trying to look better than your mates.”
Stone Island owes its placing aesthetic and dedication to innovation to its designer Massimo Osti, who based the brand in 1982, to run alongside his other manufacturers 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 nonetheless informs where it’s as we speak. He’s the man who brought us reflective jackets, color-changing heat-reactive jackets, polyurethane-lined weather protecting jackets, reversible jackets, twin-layer jackets with removable linings. These are all concepts that at the moment are commonplace, and i assure that every main trend home on this planet has a few of his work of their archive someplace.”
In fact, Supreme’s ongoing collaboration with Stoney options many homages to Osti’s work. “I’m an enormous fan of Osti’s ’80s and early ’90s designs, so it’s incredible to see that work referenced again within the Supreme collaborations,” Ollie continued. “The marina-type 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 really attention-grabbing time for both Stone Island and Supreme. The 2 manufacturers have come a great distance from their roots, and find themselves treading unfamiliar ground. Stone Island is approaching a transatlantic audience that has very little information of the brand’s history, innovation and cultural significance – just some co-signs from rappers and a collaboration with probably the most hyped streetwear brand on the planet.
Supreme, in contrast, is attracting an increasingly youthful audience that has much less understanding of the brand’s historical past and irreverent, counter-cultural tendencies. Both Supreme and Stone Island face the same problem: tips on how to develop into new areas and attract a larger viewers, whereas holding their respective credibilities and histories intact.
Ollie’s venture, Too Scorching Limited, stocks archival gems from Stone Island alongside pieces from other terrace casual favorites, like Polo Ralph Lauren, C.P. Company (Massimo Osti’s first label), Prada Sport (the Italian luxury house’s temporary foray into sportswear), Iceberg and Burberry. Too Scorching also presents a glimpse again in time via its in-house editorials, which function wistful tributes to the flashy, designer label gear that was all the fashion within the UK in the ’90s and ’00s.