Celebrating the fabric futurism of Stone Island

Rizzoli’s Stone Island: Storia explores the experimental history of the Italian outerwear brand

Stone Island clothes
7015 Printed Heat Reactive S/S 2019, by Stone Island.
(Image credit: Nick Griffiths / & Son)

In 1982, Stone Island released its first outerwear collection constructed from Tela Stella, a canvas impregnated with resin, coloured a different shade on each side, and inspired by military tarpaulin. The release saw the stirrings of a new type of fashion fan, buying not into logos or branding but experimental pieces as a result of industrial innovation.

Founder Massimo Osti named Stone Island after the two words that appeared most frequently in the novels of Joseph Conrad. And now, with the release of Rizzoli’s Stone Island: Storia, the brand has established its own literary lexicon. The monograph offers an insight into the history of Stone Island, celebrating its mythic HQ or ‘kitchen’ where otherworldly materials – like thermosensitive leather and satin weave cotton faded with corrosive pastes – are masterminded.


The volume also delves into the brand’s impact on youth culture and the resonance of its compass-patch logo with football supporters, Britpop artists and rappers. In 2017, one of the brand’s biggest fans, Liam Gallagher, was so incensed by the theft of his beloved Stone Island parkas from his hotel room while he was playing Glastonbury that he took to Twitter to demand their return.

Prototype clothes

Prototype Research_Series 02, limited edition, series of 50 pieces.

(Image credit: Sabrina Tanzi)

Magazine editorial

i-D Magazine editorial (2006).

(Image credit: Nick Brown)

Color Lab interior view

Carlo Rivetti inside the Color Lab at Stone Island's HQ in Ravarino, Italy (1993)

(Image credit: press)


A version of this story appeared in the November 2020 issue of Wallpaper*, guest edited by Design Emergency. A free PDF download of the issue is available here.