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I remember buying two Stone Island Jumpers from the Stone Island Shop in Soho about 7 years ago. One of the jumpers I paid £250 for and the other cost me £490. I must say that I've never been so let down by clothes in all my life. I've paid for expensive things before but theyve been good quality. I cannot say the same thing about Stone Island clothes.
The more expensive of the two jumpers I wore three times before it had a massive hole in it. Im someone that takes care of my clothes as well. You wouldn't expect that sort of thing from a cheap brand.
The other jumper I wore about 20 times and then most of the colour had faded, the material had become rough and the jumper just looked trampy.
I wouldn't recommend buying Stone Island to anyone, unless you want to be ripped off. A few years back there were an influx of fake Stone Island clothes on the market and this just ruined the label. No one can wear Stone Island these days without people assuming it's fake. Just as Burberry was ruined by fakes, Stone Island suffered the same fate.
RIP Stone Island, you will not be missed.
Before the average hard working casual was forking out 20 notes for Pepe jeans in 1986, there was very little other than a football strip to let other people know what you liked, if they caught a glimpse of the Pepe "keyring", they knew, "if they were savvy", you were a casual, and fought rival teams supporters, sometimes non-combatants would take a hiding.
This is what Stone Island designer Massimo Osti had in mind before making this landmark label, he wanted people to know who was who, almost like wearing army stripes, Stone Island is 90% worn by hard working, mortgage paying riot merchants, I'm proud to be one of them, I've never gave out to someone who didn't deserve it.
To be turned away from a pub because how you dress can mean the difference between a good night and a bad night for the bouncers, even taking of the compass leaves them staring at your left shoulder for two small black buttons that say "this guy's not afraid of a jam", and I love it, and thousands like me, it's like the masonic warriors, the Knights Templar of the football world, not everyone knows about it, but those that do, do.
My most recent piece from the Paul Harvey collection S/S08(designer Stone Island, now turned Greenpeace Manager) is the 48154436 (52), that's right, like Masons, we talk in codes, for the less initiated, google it.
Costing 350 quid, it isn't, by some standards all that expensive, its not white badge, mesh etc, but it's still a knowing sign
It's beige in colour and is the only one I know of as this colour was never meant for the U.K market, I had this sent over from Bologna.
Year after year, piece after piece, Stone Island brings out new, more exciting must haves than the year before, looking around the terraces before kick off, everyone lucky enough to have one, stands out like a secret member, each eyeing the others piece up and giving a knowing nod, if you happen to be on the same divide.
There's something primeval when you're wearing it, wide eyed young boys stare at them in awe, those less fortunate fancy their chances, most of those guys know their chances are not great.
Since the release of "Green Street", every Chinaman, Indian and Pakistani in a sweatshop is churning out yellow striped rasos.
That film done to S.I what Mary Whitehouse done for T.V. but you can't joke a joker, I'd have that film banned for this one good reason.
I have been a huge fan of stone island clothing for many years, I find the clothing fantastic for both men and women, there is a huge range to choose from and they are all good quality and wash really well, although they are on the very expensive side.
Stone Island had become one of the markets finest Italian manufacturers in the clothing industry, it is also part of the C.P company clothing range, although these are partnered the ranges are marketed at two different markets.
What make stone island unique is that every item of clothing has its own serial number printed on the label, and they add the logo very visibly to all the clothing they produce, this is done in a number of ways, buttons always have stone island written around them and the legendary stone island badge is black is colour with stone island printed in a circle in green and then surrounded by a yellow compass.
There are many fake stone island clothing items around now days so be sure to look for the logos and serials before buying them and paying very high prices, from experience I have found that eBay is a major culprits for these fake stone island clothes.
This brand has now become a major must have for football casuals, and this has helped expand the brand, this has been around for many year and it was quite rare but now it is recognised by almost everyone who likes the designer label, it has become very common in the past few years.
The clothing range itself caters for everyone, and they produce jackets, coats, hoodies, jeans and jumpers, every season they introduce a new range this is either spring summer autumn or winter collections.
The clothing its self is very expensive, and most will never pay the outrageous asking prices. But the price does reflect the product, you get very desirable clothing that is very hard wearing, washable and it will last for years, so you do get what you pay for.
A History Of Stone Island
By Marc B
What can you say about what is the number one label on the terraces? Easy to spot, hard wearing, and most importantly it looks impressive. The brand has always came with a certain reputation - I'll always remember the England match in Dublin back in 94, watching the England fans throwing seats like they were frisbees, with the infamous Stone Island compass (some call it the patch, but the people at Stone Island themselves call it the compass, after the brands sea faring heritage) on the arm. I though just what any one thinks the first time they see it - it has a military look about it, the clothes looked great, and that night in Dublin it looked just like an army going to work.
The brand was first conceived in the early 80's, an off spin from designer sportswear kings of Italy, sportswear SPA. The brand was coupled with CP Company, and for some time CP Company dabbled with a similar logo on the arm of some product. The full launch of the Stone Island brand came in 1983, although there is debate as to some of the designs floating about before this date.
Stone Island began with hard wearing clothing, the earliest pieces using sail fabric, but to stand out from the quality of other up and coming Italian designers, they invested heavily in material research, using techno fibres and eventually would be the next best thing to NASA in material research.
Led by Massimo Osti, who through his designs with Stone Island would influence everything to do with fashion for the next two decades, the company came to semi prominence by the late 80's. It became renowned for knitwear and inparticular its jackets which could not be worn out, ripped or wrecked. It was said once of Massimos work with Stone Island - "He is to fashion what the Matrix is to film". Massimo was voted number 9 in the most influential men in fashion by Loaded, ahead of Pradas main man and lady and also ahead of Giorgio Armani.If you walk into any fashion shop, most of what you see has been influenced in some way by Massimo Osti and his work.
The late 80's saw the first appearances on the terraces of Stone Island, with lads who had made the trips to Italy for Armani dumping their eagles in favour of the Stoney compass logo. Now there was a new kid on the block and finally lads in the know on the terraces had clothing to go with their trainers from Lillywhites.
At this time the clothing was much more expensive than today, when it started appearing in London you were touching £200 for a good jumper. Jackets that changed colour in the heat, and coats made of metal thread began showing up, and trips to Europe just wouldn't be complete for the boys in the know without a nice bit of Stone Island being brought back. By the time the acid house scene had died out and people were dressing decently again, the compass started appearing on lads arms in more and more 'firms' around the country.
This made it easy to spot the dressers, with such an easily identifiable logo, and the brand continued to grow and grow. Anywhere you went in London, all you could see was Stone Island at matches, with Shop 70 in Russell Square getting a hold of loads of the clothing from the factory in Italy and selling it for £50 a jacket. Stone Island wanted to keep the brand in official stockists though and that's why the shop couldn't get its supplies. You can imagine how much money a shop like that would make today.
Paul Harvey in the 90s done a good job in taking over from Massimo Osti as designer, and the late 90's were a bit of a renaissance for Stone Island before the brand began to go for some downhill. Massimo Osti was voted the menswear designer of the 90s by Arena pour homme ...Massimo went on to design his own label left hand, which kept some of the good elements of his work with CP Company and Stone Island in the look of the brand, but it was just too different from his previous work to become a real hit.
The brand wrapped up before the turn of the century, and Massimo began work with Levis and their khaki brand Dockers. He produced a legs equipment brand including some of those crazy designs he was renowned for like chainmail trousers. The highlight of the range though was his ICD coats for Levis, with full working electrics and a phone, mp3 player, and personal organiser all hooked up.
Meanwhile Paul Harvey kept the essence of the understated look in Stone Island. The terraces were full of the clothing, it was the only brand that mattered at football matches in the late nineties.
At this time it was a guarantee that all stockists would sell out of 'Stoney' well before the end of the season. Stone Island themselves thrived on the "Cult Status", as they put it, that the brand had in England. This was their main reason for opening a London store - before the stone island official web site was opened an article appeared on their distributors site (fourmarketing.co.uk) mentioning this.
The late 90's saw the police realise the link between the clothing and football firms. Many official stockists of Stone Island received visits from the dibble, and in one case a stockist who supplied the gear to Portsmouths 6:57 group was pulled infor questioning. also bizarrely, the clothing has caught on recently in Denmark, where the Danish police, assumed the compass was a medal for acts of hooliganism.
For the turn of the millennium, Stone Island decided two things. One, they feel the compass should be toned down in to a simple logo, stitched on to the material rather than a button on badge, hence the rise of the new Stone Island denim range which now makes up half of what is made. There are some nice Stone Island denims pieces about, but compare these to what the brand turned out in the 90s and you would not believe it was the same company.
And something which was trivial but at the same time upsetting - the green trim around the edge was removed from the compass badge for the millenium.
Second, the price continues to go down, and so does the quality of much of the gear. Many jumpers and jackets now do not last or wash well. The denims are terrible compared to what they used to be, when some had the compass logo badge sewn on the back pocket. By the time Stone Island and CP Company opened their flagship store in London, the brand was too widespread.
Needless to say, the new denim range just doesn't look as good, a piece isn't the same with out the compass on the arm. Prada Sport has been appearing for the past two years, its so much like Stoney as it first started out, and for me this is not a replacement for Stone Island, but so many casuals are buying their knitwear and jackets only from Prada Sport in the same way which was expected with Stone Island.
There has however been some classic pieces in recent years. What I would give to get my hands on a lightening proof coat, a chain mail coat, or the limited edition fur line parka with the white label. Indeed the white label line pieces which occasionally appear have become much sought after as the ultimate way of standing out on the terraces, similar to the recent popularity of the discontinued CP Company urban protection coats like the metropolis (built in smog mask) and mille miglia (built in goggles) also a Massimo Osti legacy. Green label items are also of high value, especially the illusive camoflage ice jackets.
I'll still be sporting my coats and jumpers with pride though. God knows I've spent so long building up the collection. Here's hoping that Stoney will make a comeback, and that the brand doesn't get killed off completely. Having said that, it has led the way for men's fashion for over 20 years now, and a brand like this can't be taken out of contention. Still, lets admit, life wouldn't be the same without Stone Island.
A few notes about Stone Island -
1) Wash with care and the stuff will last. Knits and trousers all need cold hand washed, and try not to wreck jackets as once they get really dirty they've had it.
2) When buying Stone Island these days be careful of quality. Feel the thickness and strength of the knits, beware of the funny "
scratchy" sort of wool, and try stuff on, as the cut can be poor compared to what it was. Avoid any thi
3) Look for the "Made in Italy" label below the Stone Island label. SI have started making goods in Turkey and Romania increasingly, generally they are worst quality compared to other Italian made Stone Island pieces.
4) Beware of fakes - remember there are only about 125 official UK outlets, so be careful. Look out for the official stockist sign in stores.
Signs of a fake -
i) Badge not on left arm (except the reversible range)
ii) Badge has colour round the edging, as opposed to all black round the compass.
(except pre 2000 stock)
iii) No seller id under the badge( some "grey market" sellers like BB Clothing cut this out though so their supplier can't get sussed by Stone Island )
iv) Ebay is a source of Stoney bargains but also many fakes. Some you'll laugh at and some will fool you. Ask around before buying.
By Marc B
A new stone island article will be appearing in front magazine, june 2003.
I'm going with Jimmy on this one.... I was about 19 when I first had enough cash to get my 1st stone island jumper (many many moons ago). I'd seen some of the lads at united wearing it and it was starting to emerge as a fashion on the clubscene in manchester (hacienda/conspiracy et al). Unlike anything i'd ever seen for young casuals, massimo osti was churning out some genius pieces...I also remember fondly parting with a lot of cash for my jumper from flannels( which i still have amongst many others) I've never known anyone before or since come out with such amazing designs. i.e. The SI ice jacket which changed colour when it was cold, the coat with the tiny glass beads in it that reflected light and also gave a cracked appearance after been worn a few times and not forgeting coats made out of kevlar. The only problem now is that everyones on the stone island bandwaggon....Students, tinpot badboys, middle-class halfwits who have never even been to a football match pre 93 because they though footy was a sport for the great unwashed. Stone Islands designs are still as good as ever even without Mr Osti being at the helm but when i wear them now (and probably some people will agree) i take the badge off the coat. CP company all the way for me now...still love my SI jackets but CP take the biscuit these days. Smart,understated and ingenius design. Coats with goggles attached to the hood, inflatable necks for travelling in comfort and all sorts of crazy stuff built into the coat. My favourite at the moment in my wardrobe is a coat i got last year...made out of the incredibly indestructable TS75 material and with gloves built into the arms...It's a winner. Stone Island will always be a timeless classic but for people like me who are getting over the hill a bit, CP company is here to stay.
There's something about it. I remember as a young wide eyed 18 year old urchin many years ago, just starting to earn a decent wage, I'd saved up for weeks for this and finally I had the cash. Went into Flannels in Manchester and parted with £120 for a jumper. The buzz was tremendous and yes I still have got it and many more. It's a pure footie casual thing, yeah I've seen knobbly student-types wearing the label but if you understand this first paragraph you'll know exactly what I am going on about here. It's fair to say that 90% of the people buying and wearing Stone Island gear are footie lads. Some people might not have a clue - In a recent edition of ‘The Face’ detailing the return of the labels they commented that it was a label that posh people had never heard of. And quite right too. Yes, we’re talking Stone Island of course. The label created by Massimo Osti in Bologna and now under the design expertise of Englishman Paul Harvey. Osti was the man who invented the stonewashing process and first introduced this to his Stone Island label in 1982. Since then , Osti, through his label, CP Company, Left Hand and his own Massimo Osti production has simply been bossing the joint. Whereas all the above have been and continue to be successful, it is the Stone Island label that has remained No. 1 amongst the football fans. Why? Who knows? What I know is that the quality, style, design and technology of fabrics continues to impress. Their jumpers and coats are often a cut above the opposition and if you don’t do anything stupid – like fight in them – they should last you a lifetime. There is of course the down side in that if you do happen to wear the label you are immediately bracketed into the Hooligan fraternity. It took the police long enough to get it but even they seem to think that you’re a hoolie if you’re wearing Stone Island. (And to think only a few years ago the police w
atching Chelsea in Bruges thought the badge stood for Combat 18!! When will it end? Hard to say really. Many thought it wouldn’t recover when Osti left but Harvey, whose own earlier label, Sabotage was extremely bizarre has continued the good work with fabric and style with the last couple of season’s items being as good as it has ever been. This coupled with the fact that there is a continual long line of young men who have a disposable income should enable the label to rule the roost for a while yet. In celebration of the founder himself “Arena Pour Homme” have just named Osti as the most influential menswear designer of the nineties and quite right too. This season we’ll be giving his new kecks collection “Equipment for legs” a go and await the Winter’s Stone Island garbs with much anticipation. So when it get’s cold around November time take a quick look around after the game and then when some idiot with big turn ups is ranting on about Alexander McQueen being the best British Clothes designer just smirk.