Stone Island has been known in the UK for decades, but it is currently undergoing a brand revival, thanks to collaborations with US streetwear brands and big name music stars. Just last week Singapore investment company Temasek acquired a 30% stake in the company.
Here’s 10 little known facts you probably didn’t know about the premium outerwear label.
1. The name of the brand comes from the novels of Joseph Conrad. The two most frequent words within the books are “stone” and “island”. The name also reflects the brand connection with the water, as the first garments were processed by washing with pumice stones to soften the fabric and give it a worn look.
2. The Stone Island brand is known for its innovative fabrics. This concept has been a cornerstone of the brand right from the very start – the first garments were a run of seven jackets produced from a fabric named “Tela Stella” produced from military truck tarpaulin.
3. There are several different versions of the famous Stone Island badge. The original badge had a green border, which later became a black border. There has also been a black and white version, a badge with “30 ANNI” below the compass logo for the brand’s 30th anniversary, and an all-black version of the patch.
4. The brand is now heavily associated with streetwear and the grime music scene but it was previously a favoured brand in football culture as part of the “terrace casuals” fashion that became popular with image-conscious football fans in the ‘80s and ‘90s, who chose designer garments over their team colours, partly to show off rare European labels discovered while attending away matches, and partly to avoid attention of the police and rival team fans.
5. Some examples of the high tech Stone Island jackets made from innovative fabrics include the Ice Jacket, which changes colour at different temperatures, the Silver Jacket, made from stainless steel bonded to a fabric base, and the Liquid Reflective Jacket, which is coated with thousands of glass microspheres to reflect light.
6. Creative director Carlo Rivetti, who took over the brand in 2008, comes from a family with a long history in the fashion industry. Rivetti’s grandfather founded his own wool factory in the 19th century and in the 1950s his father introduced Italians to the concept of ready-to-wear sizes as an alternative to made-to-measure clothing.
7. Stone Island is actually an Italian brand, and before it went global was popular with an Italian youth subculture known as “paninaro”, who would hang around the Panino café in Milan wearing brands such as Stone Island, Moncler, and Best Company. As well as inventing new high-tech fabrics, the company also takes its dyeing process very seriously. Parent company Sportswear Company’s colour laboratory has developed over 60,000 dye recipes over the years.
8. Stone Island has an app available for iPhone and Android that allows fans of the brand to receive the latest news, read more about the brand, and shop for Stone Item clothing. Some collections, such as the NikeLab collaboration and the “Prototype Research Series” launched earlier this year, are released exclusively via the app.
9. Stone Island “vintage” items are highly collectible, despite the brand being relatively new. The UK’s number one stockiest of vintage Stone Island, Too Hot Limited, opened a pop-up shop in Harvey Nichols in July 2017.
10. Canadian rapper Drake is one of the brand’s most famous fans. Celebrity jeweller Ben Baller produced a one-off Stone Island gold pendant and chain for the star for his Boy Meets World tour, made using 880 grams of gold, and 79 carats of Triple-A black, green, and canary diamonds making up the compass logo. The piece is worth $100k.