This is not a book review, because I cannot review a book I edited. Instead, I wanted to write a few sentences about Stone Island and about the book, Storia, that came out today.
I first encountered Stone Island in New York in the late ‘90s. It was stocked at Century21, the veritable mecca of clothes from past seasons. I would duck into it in between my college classes and then on my lunch break when I started working on a stock exchange a few blocks away from the store. I would go for Martin Margiela and Vivienne Westwood, but I would always stop in front of the Stone Island rack. I didn’t know anything about the brand, but the clothes drew me in with their construction methods – I was fascinated by the nautical ropes that held together the inner lining and the outer shell, the slightly uneven dyes that made the colors look unusual, the waxed and rubberized surfaces that felt protective. I also found allure in the uniformity that the Stone Island sleeve badge gave to the clothes that were hanging on a rack in battle formation.
Fast-forward some ten years and I found myself at Barneys, admiring the collaboration between Stone Island and Aitor Throup. I bought a silver bomber with articulated sleeves from that collaboration (When I met Throup years later to interview him for this magazine, we bonded over our fascination with the brand.). I went searching for more info on Stone Island, and I came across – what else? – Stone Island forums, where I had a lot of fun reading and learning. Stoney fans on the forums were mostly English and mostly working class. There, I learned more about the brand’s rich cultural history and its technical innovations.
Back then Stone Island was hard to find in New York. For years the brand remained my secret. I knew of only one other person who was into it – a guy who ran the Found-NYC blog (now defunct). This was the BD (Before Drake) era. Then came the AD era and all of a sudden the rappers and the hypebeasts were on it, and the brand was finally fully present in North America. Still, I loved what I saw – Stone Island seemed to get better each year. And the more “designer” hoodies I saw on the runway the more I gravitated to Stone Island’s obsession with real design and with their physics-defying dyeing methods. So when in 2016 I was asked if I would be interested in writing about Stone Island for Business of Fashion, how could I say no?
This book, was born over a casual dinner conversation. This is how things happen sometimes, a dream project seemingly comes out of nowhere. The book is a deep dive in the universe of Stone Island, its history of design and its influence on culture. And, I got to work with some amazing people on it – most notably with Simon Foxton, who art-directed it, and with Angelo Flaccavento, Jian DeLeon and Paul Gorman, who graciously signed up to write additional texts. And of course the incredible Stone Island team, who are absolutely manic about what they do. At the end of the day for me it’s all about passion, and I’ve never met more passionate people than I did at Stone Island.
I hope you enjoy this book, on which we have labored painstakingly for a year. There are some incredible historical images in it, and lots images of product, including a jacket that was made especially for the book. And the text ain’t half bad, if I can say so myself (You’ll know I edited the book when you find a Pet Shop Boys reference in it).
Then all that’s left is to express my gratitude to everyone who worked on the book, and a special thanks to Carlo and Sabina Rivetti, who entrusted me with a project I know they hold dear to their hearts.
Stone Island: Storia ($60) is out now in bookstores worldwide. A special edition of the book will also be sold in the Stone Island flagship stores in North America, Europe, and Asia.
All images courtesy of Rizzoli and Stone Island. No images may be reproduced without the expressed permission of the publisher.