by Marcus Mitropoulos
10 min
Reuben Selby ©

Last year, we celebrated the 40th birthday of Stone Island. To some, it’s simply a badge on the left side of a garment. To others, it’s overpriced sportswear.

But to myself, and a whole whack of others internationally, Stone Island is a lifestyle.

It all starts when you put on your first piece. There’s a sense of confidence and agency which flows through your body. It’s like you’ve found a way for that split second, to put your insecurities to the side, and truly rock a piece of clothing.

When I put on my first jumper, I thought that feeling would go away after the second or third piece. But wow, was I remiss. The feeling continued to take over my psyche, growing stronger with each and every wear.

Here I am today, obsessed with everything the brand produces, along with similar attire from its counterpart. Below you’ll find a capsule that attempts to capture, and hone in on the sheer emotion which is embedded in the badge. The people below are regular, just like you and me. Some are archivists, some are collectors, and some are even retail employees. Regardless, they will all tell you what Stone Island means to them.

@elizabeth.vv8 ©

BIO: VICTORIA LI, 21, Canada, Stone Island Archivist

The question is so difficult to answer. Since I bought my first Stone Island sweater, the brand’s compass badge has attracted me. It seems to have magical power. After that, I became obsessed with this brand. I started to collect works from the Osti period. In my opinion, all the clothes in the world are influenced by Osti. It can also be said that all the clothes in the world are from Osti. Like some look like a very creative design on the market, this man from Italy did 40 years ago. It is incredible.

BIO: MADS SNEJBJERG JENSEN, 26, Math and Science Teacher, Loyal Customer

The brand means a lot to me as it has been my go-to brand ever since I started my teenage life. I’ve never found comfort in wearing flashy designs or too plain and boring clothes. As a person who appreciates a good look as well as an uplifting quality, I get the best of both in wearing Stone Island. A brand is a brand and clothes are clothes I know, however, most people can relate to the feeling of confidence when looking your very best. Stone Island does that for me. 

@tela_fella ©

BIO: JAMES OF TELA FELLA, 28, London, Stone Island Archivist

There are many things Stone Island means to me like being a collector and part of that group that possess each to their own extensiveness a collection or archive that display the best pieces of the brand. To me, Stone Island defines modern sportswear and becoming a big collector of Osti archive was a dream I had for a long time. Walking around wearing timeless pieces of menswear gives you a great feeling, not only of looking the business but also knowing you’re almost never going to see the same jacket on another man wherever you are. Most importantly for is to display the pieces and my appreciation for Massimo Osti’s work as the most innovative menswear designer in terms of fabric and function.

BIO: YONGHO PARK, 36, Korea, Fashion Distribution Company

Stone Island makes clothes that make me feel good. You don’t understand how good it feels to express yourself with clothes until you’ve worn Stone Island. 

BIO: JADE THOMAS, 26, Los Angeles, Client Advisor at LA Flagship store

To me, Stone Island is a global community of people who appreciate luxury beyond the aesthetic. Stone Island is one of the most inspiring brands for not only tech wear but for all sportswear companies. Working at the flagship store in Los Angeles is so fun because as the brand continues to grow here in the US I come into contact with people who are not aware of the brand’s deep history and cultural significance. They might have just seen their favourite artist wearing a piece and want to become a part of the community and I get to teach them about the brand and explain all of the innovations such as our nylon metal, our heat reactive, and reflective garments. I get asked all the time what I think our competition is but I believe we are truly in our own lane. If you want to stand out while wearing top-quality garments stone island is for you.

BIO: LOUIS 5FT, 21, London, Sarcastic Fashion Boy

To me, Stone Island has the coolest vintage knits and jackets in the game! Nothing excites me more than the search for a Stone Island jacket that is older in age than me. I think it represents streetwear with class. 

@louishols ©

BIO: LOUIS HOLSGROVE, 25, Stylist and Founder of From Point Blank

Stone Island put me on the map when it comes to fashion. It provokes an indescribable feeling that is exciting and can’t be replicated elsewhere. It all began with the heat-reflective jacket. It just showcased how insane technology and innovation can be. Stone Island is one of those brands that turn fashion into a game. It makes you want to explore everything about the label. Without Stone Island, I wouldn’t have gotten into fashion and design. It’s hard to explain the feeling overall. 

BIO: AARON HARRISON, 36, Hull, Stone Island Archivist

It use to be one of them labels when growing up and going to to football. You’d see the older lads wear it and that was your goal to own one, think the label has been ruined over the years, and people don’t appreciate it as much as they use to 15/20 years ago. Only ever use to see football Lads in Stone Island now everyone is wearing it.

As much as I love the label I could quite easy fall out of love with it at the same time. I like the fact 15 years ago wearing it felt special, now not so special as every Tom dick and Harry is in it. 

@tny.rdgs ©

BIO: ANTHONY RODRIGUES, 28, Besançon, Stone Island seller and lover

Stone Island means a lot for me as a collector first of all and as a part of my business selling vintage pieces and trying to find old pieces each days. 

It all started when I first saw Travis Scott and Drake wearing the brand. I’ve always felt a passion toward hip-hop music and sportswear culture, so it’s evident that I’d fall in love with the aesthetic and design of the brand. 

Stone island gives me the opportunity to meet passionate people all around the world and talk about different things which surround it. 

BIO: RICHARD O’HARA, 38, Hull, Stone Island Collector and Content Creator

Stone Island means a lot of things to me. It’s the adult versions of collecting football stickers when you were a child. A constant hunt to find the elusive jacket you so badly want. When you get it, you know you not only own a quality brand but something that can make you stand out from the crowd. It’s association with football resonates massively with my love for the brand! 

@abbyleblanc ©

BIO: ABIGAIL GRACE LEBLANC, 23, Ottawa, Stone Island Enthusiast

When I think of Stone Island the first words that come to mind are: innovation, durability, and experimentation. From thermosensitive and goretex technology, to light reflective materials, Stone Island is always pushing the standard and in terms of industry innovation. After owning a few pieces myself, I was very impressed by the craftsmanship and attention to detail each piece exhibited. My Stone Island rain jacket was designed to fold back into itself and can compress to the size of your pocket. Pretty amazing. Every piece the brand creates is made with quality materials and thought-out design. To me, Stone Island is the child of passionate individuals recreating athleisure and sportswear and creating something entirely unique.

BIO: MARTIN NICOLAS, 26, Toronto, Employee at Stone Island Toronto and Well Seasoned SI Expert 

Stone Island is a culture and a lifestyle. It’s understood to be misunderstood. And within this culture are subcultures that have meanings of their own and have been passed down through generations over the last 40 years. Stone Island to one person might mean differently to another person especially when looking at its worldwide impact – from its roots in Italy, to the UK and now its recent emergence in North America. I think the beauty of it all is that its meaning is unique to each person and will continue to grow in the same way for years to come.

BIO: TARAN HICKS, 20, Bristol, Stone Island Enthusiast

To me, Stone Island means more than just the badge. It means legacy and innovation over decades and I love the way it’s trickled down from the ‘luxury’ label it’s had into different subcultures; from the football hooligan stint in the UK to how I know it personally, mixed into the streetwear scene with Goretex and Nike trainers, on the arms of my friends and I for any occasion.

@steezyy_steve_ ©

BIO: EVE KELLY, 19, Manchester, Stylist and Stone Island Collector

To me, Stone Island is a uniform. Growing up in the north of England I was exposed to the huge following of pub and football culture. Along with its further involvement with Manchester street style, I choose to wear Stone Island as a demonstration of the Northern culture I am a part of.

In my teenage years, growing up in West Yorkshire, Stone Island was the one of the main choices of clothing amongst the male community. I was curious as to why women’s and men’s choices of brands were so different around where I grew up. I felt obliged to conform to teenage female fashion at the time, which has often felt somewhat generic, as appose to the brand Stone Island who have such an array of unique pieces, which allow people to dress individually whilst also creating that sense of community. I became inspired by the authenticity of Stone Island and their adherence to the brand throughout the years. Therefore, I made a choice to explore what made me feel more creative, allowing Stone island to be my gateway into the streetwear style.

Since moving to Manchester my collection has further grown along with my love for the brand. Aside from my interest in the creativity of Stone island’s clothing I always want to show my Northern background through my styling work, leading the Stone Island badge to be a perfect way to semiotically imply this.

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