Marina Bay Sands, home to the world’s biggest luxury brands and coolest streetwear labels, has added yet another exciting tenant to its roster: Stone Island.
The Italian brand has opened its doors on the Canal Level of The Shoppes, marking its first concept store in Singapore — or Southeast Asia, for that matter.
The new space is designed by Marc Buhre, who established the look and feel of all other Stone Island flagships around the world. It covers some 114 square metres, fitting two changing rooms, an array of artisanal Italian furniture and a dedicated space for Stone Island’s more experimental Shadow Project line.
All of this is going to thrill a lot of Stoney fans, as the followers of the cult label are called. But if you’re not one of them yet, you’re about to be.
What is Stone Island?
In short, Stone Island is the biggest men’s fashion brand you’ve never heard of. After all, the brand doesn’t do fashion shows or celebrity endorsements. And yet it has grown to be one of the most successful fashion companies in the world: It made €240 million (S$385,584,000) in profits during the pandemic-stricken year of 2020. Last December, it was snapped up by Moncler, another global purveyor of performance outerwear, as part of a billion-dollar deal.
Stone Island’s beginnings were humble enough. It was founded in 1982 by Massimo Osti, an Italian graphic designer with a keen interest in textiles and informal wear. His first collection was a line of just seven jackets in six colours.
What made them special was the fabric: “Tela Stella”, a heavily-stonewashed cloth, featuring different colours on each side, that was used to make truck tarpaulins. It was the first of many innovative materials that would become a Stone Island signature. The brand has since launched jackets made of stainless steel Teflon fibers, colour-changing liquid crystals, as well as a reflective combination of a waterproof fabric with glass.
These unique materials are dreamed up in Stone Island’s colour laboratory in Ravarino. There, the brand is given carte blanche to experiment with fabric finishes, treatments and dyes (it boasts over 60,000 different recipes), some of which result in entirely new materials and production techniques.
Besides technical textiles, Stone Island also has a laser focus on functionality. The brand, which has been led by Carlo Rivetti for almost 40 years, offers an array of clothing that draw from military uniforms and workwear. Parkas, sweatshirts, knitwear, shirts and jeans all combine clean appearances and clever details, making them perfect for the modern man’s wardrobe.
Becoming a streetwear staple
What do wealthy Milanese youths, die-hard English football fans, Chinese hypebeasts and American hip-hop stars have in common?
A love for Stone Island jackets, believe it or not. You’ll be able to recognise them by the brand’s yellow, black and green compass insignia — another military-inspired detail.
The jackets were first sported in the ’80s by the paninari, a set of rich Milanese youths with a penchant for fast food and flashy fashion. These kids effectively established Italy’s first streetwear scene, elevating Stone Island to the same level of cool that Supreme would define decades later.
In the ’90s, as football fans travelled to Italy to catch the games, they would adopt the Stoney jacket into their look back home. The brand soon found its footing across Europe, but it’s in the UK where it has held a special significance. It became a staple within Britpop, UK garage and rave music scenes. Today, the brand has outlived those genres to become the proud (and often name-dropped) uniform of grime rappers.
Their American counterparts followed suit. Drake, Travis Scott and Vince Staples are just some figures of hip-hop royalty to have bragged about or shown off their Stone Island pieces in the last few years. That, and the streetwear wave, would bring Stone Island’s cult appeal to an all-time high. Collaboration with the likes of Adidas, Nike and Supreme soon came along, and, naturally, so did the hypebeasts.
Build your Stone Island collection
By the end of 2020, Stone Island was listed as one of Lyst’s hottest fashion brands, ranking alongside Gucci, Off-White and Balenciaga. A Stone Island jacket was also named as the fourth most-wanted menswear product.
But don’t just buy into the hype. Stone Island certainly doesn’t care for it, at least not as much as it cares about creating functional, high quality clothing with an edge. It speaks directly to people who appreciate the craftsmanship and longevity of its clothes — not those who are looking to show off a logo. By not pandering to trends, what Stone Island ultimately offers is timelessness. That’s a rare find in today’s fashion landscape.
At the new Stone Island store, you’ll get a first-hand look at the depth of textile research and innovation that goes into every piece. Below, we highlight some of our favourites from the Spring/Summer 2021 collection.
This hooded jacket comes in Lamy Nylon Tela, a lightweight fabric treated with resin for wind resistance. Thanks to its special print, the jacket becomes reflective when light is refracted on it.
This trench coat is made of Stone Island’s Lucido-TC fabric, a blend of canvas and nylon that comes with a glossy resin finish. The brand has also given the jacket one of its specialised dyes to create its three-dimensional appearance.
This anorak features a three-layer performance fabric. The first layer is the nylon cotton face that you see. Below, a layer of polyester gauze is combined with a technical membrane that makes the outerwear piece breathable, water- and wind-resistant. The anorak is also fully seam-taped, enhancing its waterproof protection.
This hooded blouson features another three-layer performance material, but it’s made with a unique yarn dyeing system that reduces the use of water and chemicals by over 80 per cent. The fabric is also laminated to be breathable, water- and wind-proof, while retaining the flexibility of the blouson.
This reversible “Ghost Piece” comes in a hybrid blend of wool and nylon that combines the insulating properties of the first fabric with the technicality of the second. The vest is inspired by camouflage, and is therefore designed to be entirely monochromatic — down to the Stone Island badge.
The new Stone Island boutique is now open at #B2-18, Canal Level, The Shoppes @ Marina Bay Sands on 2 Bayfront Avenue.
Header photo credit: Stone Island