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We Despatched A Stone Island Nut To Interview Massimo Osti’s Son

Stone Island is one of those uncommon manufacturers that inspires absurd levels of devotion in its customers. Like Supreme, Nike and Jordan, guys are comfortable to throw their entire bank accounts on the Italian label simply so as to add that one *important* piece to their already large collections. The model evokes such loopy loyalty in people because it offers a unique combination of a rich, vibrant history and next-level innovation. Stone Island (or “Stoney” as it’s affectionately recognized within the UK) uses insane fabrics that make its garments change color, glow in the dead of night or look like they’ve been worn for decades.

The architect of Stone Island’s iconic place in menswear was Massimo Osti. The Italian designer revolutionized the fashion trade from the ’80s onwards, and was utilizing revolutionary strategies to create excessive-efficiency menswear 30 years earlier than anyone ever said the word “athleisure.” Osti’s work attracts obsessive fans who fetishize his creations in all their forms: whether it’s for Stone Island, C.P. Firm, Left Hand Productions or the extremely-uncommon World Vast Net label.

Osti sadly handed away in 2005, forsaking an unlimited 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. Company — and recently took a part of his household archive to coincide with the relaunch of the Ideas From Massimo Osti ebook, in partnership with the Jacket Required tradeshow. The 432-web page archive is a must-have for Osti fans, and is jam-packed with sketches, photos and ramblings on the design legend’s work.

Highsnobiety was given the unique alternative to talk with Lorenzo, and slightly than do a easy Skype name or electronic mail interview, we received our favourite Stone Island mega-fan, Ollie Evans, to head down as an alternative. Ollie runs Too Hot Limited, a London-primarily based archive of vintage bangers that sells archival Stone Island, C.P Firm and different Osti-affiliated labels, alongside treasures from the likes of Burberry, Moschino and Prada. He’s a subsequent-stage Osti fan, and likewise 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 lively from a cultural viewpoint, and we have been in the midst of all of that. My father was already fairly profitable and all our friends have been musicians and artists. Our home was an open house — not kidding, at dinner time people would ring us and say “is there one thing to eat right here ” So on daily basis from Monday – Sunday there have been 10 individuals at house.

As a small youngster I remember I never wished to go to sleep — it was very thrilling. I’ve been very lucky with the whole lot that occurred to my father and his work and for being in that surroundings at the moment. It was very stimulating.

Did you spend quite a lot of time in your father’s studio as a baby
Only after he moved to a studio close to our house. For the first 10-15 years of his career he was working where the company was based in Ravarino, the place the manufacturing unit is. He based C.P. Firm and what’s now called Sportswear Company [the manufacturers of modern Stone Island] in Ravarino. He was going there everyday before I woke up and coming back when I was asleep.

I used to see him one or two days a week, but after that, when he was tired with his life, he moved back to the office near our house [Massimo left C.P. Company and Stone Island in 1995]. I used to spend full days there enjoying with the Xerox copier and fabrics, it was super fun.

What was the creative course of like there
From a creative point of view he was just about by himself, but I always remember individuals running around him bringing him things — do that, do this.

Did you take you are taking a number of samples for your self
It was a playground for me. When i used to visit the company in Ravarino I used to be usually provided with a big plastic bag and i could take whatever I wanted. It was like running to the shop and taking whatever you need without paying, “oh this I’ll take in blue, yellow,” and of course it was a little bit of a waste typically. I used to be 10 years previous! I remember going back with bags full of garments that I couldn’t even lift up.

How did your father’s background as a graphic designer affect his strategy to vogue
His profession in fashion started from a graphic design perspective. He was requested to design some T-shirts for a model referred to as Anna Gobbo. It was extremely successful, they sold very effectively, so they made another assortment and another. Then he started experimenting with garment dying on the T-shirts because he didn’t like it when the print was standing out too much — he thought “let’s begin 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 career because he was used to being a communication person. He was used to taking care of all the communication of the brand by himself. All of the catalogues have been made on the studio, all of the graphic design was made right here, every thing underneath his direct management. He was developing the garments, but at the same time he was overseeing all the communication, catalogues and advertising.

Your father’s garment applied sciences and improvements revolutionized the trade. Which one do you suppose had probably the most influence

I feel it’s the garment dying. I don’t want to say invention, he didn’t actually invent it, garment dying has existed forever. If you have an previous garment and also you wish to cowl a spot, you dye over it. However he made it a scientific industrial process and introduced it to a stage that had not been possible to think about before: dying leather-based, multiple supplies and all of this stuff.

His different fabric innovations like Raso Ray (polyurethane-coated cotton) and Tinto Capo (the dying method) are good, and necessary, but they didn’t have this vast affect that garment dying had. Garment dying actually 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.

Again on the Massimo Osti Archive exhibition this morning.
A publish shared by Too Scorching (@toohotlimited) on Jan 27, 2017 at three:41am PST

Army expertise and design had been enormous influences on your father’s work, where did this interest stem from

He wanted to study military and workwear because everything is there for a cause, every aspect has a operate, there is no such thing as a aesthetic stuff, no decoration. He also said he wanted to study the fabric of military garments because they don’t have problems with finances, they don’t have the problem that the garment can’t price more than a certain quantity. They only go for the best performing thing they can find, so he said that it was the perfect inspiration for him.

From there he started sending people to go and purchase vintage army and workwear clothing — first it was my mom, then he had someone dedicated to that. They used to come back to London two or 3 times a year to go to old markets, buy all the pieces they found interesting and ship it back to Bologna to the archive.

How did the archive get to the point we’re at at this time
At a certain point of his life he was ready to leave the industry. He didn’t want to design anymore and he decided to sell the whole archive to Mr. David Chu, the owner of Nautica, but then he didn’t really give up. At that stage the archive was 38-39,000 gadgets — big, too much! It was a problem for us to manage, we had 25 industrial containers parked outside and it was almost inconceivable to go through things one-by-one. It was a bit overwhelming so he decided to get rid of every little thing.

As a family we have now a collection of really key garments at home, so my father started bringing these again to the studio. He needed something to work on for his small initiatives, so he started to collect again. After that he worked for Levi’s (Industrial Clothing Division), he made the WWW (World Broad Web) challenge, the Superga challenge. So he went back to buying some old vintage military stuff because that stuff was missing, so we rebuilt the archive, he went on doing that and now now we have roughly 5,000 garments.

I believe the heart of the archive will not be the garments. The garments are good, but the Rivetti family and Sportswear Company have a a lot, a lot larger archive than us. C.P. Company’s archive is much greater than our archive, but we also have a huge fabric archive of samples — more than 55,000 sample pieces of fabric.

Additionally we have the paper archive. We kept all my father’s designs, all the Xerox copies, it’s all categorized. You will notice this in the e book, it’s the most interesting part because the garments are nice however everyone else owns them.

You’ve just published a second version of the Ideas From Massimo Osti guide. How did you go about collating all that archive material into one e book

It nearly cost my mother a nervous breakdown! I’m kidding but she made it, she made most of the effort. It took 4 years, as a result of when my father passed away, truthfully nothing was categorized. He passed and we went into the studio, everything was left as it was the day before — we had to go through everything stone island shop sheffield paper by paper. “This is bullshit, this is sweet.” Then my mom out of all this began to create a story.

We decided how we might talk about what my father did — so many, many things. We drew three fundamental blocks, inside one is the history of the brands, the other one is the fabric innovations, another part is the way he reinterpreted the classic menswear shapes. Then there is a facet a part of off-work or collateral projects that my father was very active with; he was designing some furniture, he was doing some politics.

Massimo Osti portrait signed by Lorenzo Osti taking delight of place in the studio right now.
A submit shared by Too Sizzling (@toohotlimited) on Jan 31, 2017 at 2:05am PST

There has been a recent resurgence of interest 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 technology discover his work

I don’t see it that method. Probably you’re proper, however I don’t see my father’s hand a lot in that. I believe it’s been a really attention-grabbing transfer because it’s allowed Stone Island to actually talk to another audience and they have been extremely successful doing that, so I believe it’s a great operation.

There has also been a recent explosion in interest in vintage items designed by your father. What is it prefer to see his authentic work back in the spotlight

Very exciting and surprising, because I understand that the people who saw the first era of the brand remained in love with it, but seeing new generations passionate about it has been a surprise for us. From one side there was all this revamp of the ’80s and at the same time, a minimum of in Italy, there was a resurgence of authenticity and individuality. Probably people see more of this in the Osti products from that era. More authenticity, and the possibility of accumulating vintage things which are really different from the rest of the crowd.

Your father’s brands have always appealed to youth subcultures, Paninaro in Italy, Casuals stone island shop sheffield in the UK and now an American streetwear audience. What is it about his work that appeals to these groups

We knew about Paninari because it was a extremely mainstream phenomenon in the ’80s and we had been selling so much thanks to them. It was not like this for the terrace informal culture. I never had a conversation with my father about it, and I’m fairly positive he didn’t know about it; he knew the brand was beloved in the UK but nothing more. My father was not even English speaking, and it was not as simple as it is as we speak with the internet to get that near the top consumer.

I discovered all of this after i started to promote the archive, because I had never worked with my father immediately. I really avoided that, we had a short experience — one yr in production — but I really ran away, it’s terrible to work with parents, don’t do it! [laughs]

When my father passed away I had to take care of some his business, and i discovered this UK subculture — people had been writing, wanting to visit the archive, to pay homage. I started relationships with some of them and discovered all about it, and it’s been amazing. Truthfully it has been the engine for us to do the e book and all of this.

When we saw there were people who were so truly, deeply passionate about our father, we really felt touched. In Italy it is not like that: common individuals know nothing. We have all this treasure here, there are people who really love this, so we thought let’s do something about it, and all this started.

What is it about your father’s work that evokes such devotion in individuals
Ribbed Standing Collar Zipped Placket Sweater In Gray 2015I don’t know, this can be a phenomenon. I have no answer to that. Why the Paninari adopted us is a mystery. My father could not be further away from that kind of culture! It was a total mainstream culture, about adopting brands without thinking and all people dressing the same. From the casuals I had a feeling it was really a passion about Stone Island, they felt the authenticity and the passion that my father put into all the pieces he was doing. By some means they acquired this, they could identify with it.

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