Stone Island has the ability to instantly captivate anyone and everyone. In 2011 I bought my first piece. What started out as a hobby (eager to buy items whenever I had the funds!) soon became a love affair, which has only continued to grow over the years. Early on I learnt of the brand’s rich history and extensive experimentation with many different fabrics – all of which compelled me to embark on the Arco Maher journey.
I would argue that Massimo Osti could be likened to a magician – a wild imagination but with a practical approach to everyday life and functionality. From Ice Jackets (which feature state-of-the-art technology that results in the product changing colour according to the temperature) to Formula Steel and Reflective Jackets, it is clear why Stone Island has had such an influence on so many designers and individuals over the years.
However, what I think makes the brand even more special is the enduring lifespan of the pieces which so often create strong emotional and long-lasting bonds between item and owner. Having now curated an archive of over 350 prized pieces I can safely say this sentiment stands! I feel lucky to be able to work with Stone Island garments on a daily basis and be able to share my passion for the brand with a powerful community across the globe.
Jay-Z – London – 1997 – Photographed by Phil Knott.
Phil Knott recalls the moment when a young Jay-Z who was just starting to blow up; coolly rolled through his studio in Haggerston to shoot some portraits. This picture surfaced a couple months back and I’m still obsessed. The likes of Jamie Foxx, Madonna and some other US natives had been known to don Stone Island in the late 80s & 90s, but I was unaware of Hov’s brief affiliation with the brand. A real O.G. in a beautiful Paul Harvey designed wool jumper – it doesn’t get much better!
Massimo Osti – Bequai, Windward Islands – 1988
Osti captured testing out a SS 88 Sailing “Ice Jacket” off the shores of The Grenadines. This remarkable invention sees the jacket change colour from lilac to violet when exposed to certain temperatures. Lorenzo, Massimo’s son spoke about how he remembers his father wearing this piece on the beach and diving into the sea with it on! The Ice Jacket holds a very important place in Stone Island history.
“Men’s Street Fashion” – Woodhouse, Notting Hill –1985
I unearthed this image about 6 months ago. I was immediately charmed by his effortless style. I believe this was part of a men’s street fashion series. The subject is pictured outside Woodhouse Store in Notting Hill, which has stocked Stone Island for more than 35 years. He wears a unique Marina mockneck jersey and 1984 “vertical badge” Marina jacket.
1990s Jumbo Corduroy Overshirts – London – 2017
A unique selection of highly sought after jumbo corduroy overshirts. This shot was from a project I did with my good friend / stylist Sam Thompson for Proper Magazine a couple of years back. This image was my first front cover so it’s close to my heart. We shot an editorial to display some of the key pieces in my archive. This shot seemed to kick-start a worldwide hunger for corduroy shirts. I still have a number of those pieces and a few other colours too.
Drake – Toronto – 2018
Drake pictured courtside at the Toronto Raptors wearing the AW 1996 W.R.Q. Smock Jacket, which he purchased from The Arco Maher Archive. His appreciation and knowledge of Stone Island history is really impressive. We instantly bonded over our shared love for Pure Metal Shell and Toffee Wrapper Jackets as well as Kano’s legendary performance in Top Boy!
Steven Speilberg – Miami – 2002
The highly successful film director, Steven Speilberg captured wearing an AW 02 knit rollneck alongside Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of his film “Catch Me If You Can”. Speilberg has been known for his good style on film sets over the years and this picture is no different! Stone Island has had a strong presence in the States since the 1991 opening of the C.P. Company Flatiron Building store in New York.
Massimo Osti Retrospective Exhibition – Berlin – 1987
In September of 1987 Massimo was invited to display 75 of his most iconic pieces in the rooms of the Reichstag. The event celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of the textile manufacturing industry and the 750th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Berlin. This image highlights his unique display techniques with the use of pexiglass sheets beautifully squashing the pieces. Very envious of anyone who was lucky enough to attend this exhibition!