An endless energy for innovation and research into the very latest materials and technologies continues to push Stone Island forward into new dimensions of outerwear. Since 1982, the brand has heralded new fabric developments that break down the boundaries of conformist outdoor clothing.
Based on the principle that men’s clothing must be functional, highly influential Italian clothing engineer and founder Massimo Osti explored the concept of uniform and work, taking the basis of military clothing as inspiration for his venture. The project itself took its name from words repeated across the works of post-colonial author Joseph Conrad - Stone and Island- , referencing a military origin and embodying a sense of nature which was to be reflected in the marine-like appearance of the Stone Island fabrics, like a worn oilskin. The Compass Rose badge would later be displayed like an epaulette on each outerwear piece.
The Stone Island project began to reinvent the concept of casual wear from its inception. Taking a piece of reversible tarpaulin and attempting to manipulate it into a wearable garment failed - the material was too stiff- and so ensued an intense stone wash process that seemed to magically soften the tarpaulin into a durable fabric that could change form with ease. The wash also created a highly desirable worn effect, resulting in a collection of seven coats and jackets in six colour ways- the birth of the legendary fabric, the “Tela Stella”.
For the past thirty years, Stone Island has continually developed new fabrics and technologies inspired by
its creator. The formation of functional, structured and performance driven clothing is as pertinent to the company today as it was in the ‘80s. The latest collections have been a study of three-dimensional elements; an investigation into the manipulation of material, the refinement of technique and the application of dyes and treatments, alongside the architecture of the pieces.
The Spring Summer 2014 collection references archive Stone Island pieces whilst integrating original and exciting technologies in clothing manufacturing. Graphic prints are emblazoned on jackets using innovative laser printing processes; natural fibres are interwoven with man-made fabrics to create entirely new materials and vibrant colours are achieved by using technical dyeing treatments.
The iconic Stone Island jackets are reinterpreted as the brand enters a new design chapter, featuring a mesh reflective shell which creates an optical effect as its run-proof, outer nylon mesh enhances the refractive potential of the internal fabric. The Reflex Mat technology incorporates an opaque coating of thousands of glass microspheres on a polyester base, resulting in a reflective fabric enriched with highly saturated colouring agents for an iridescent tone.
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