Carlo’s Tour: Episode One

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Carlo Rivetti, chairman of Sportswear Company, which brings together the trademarks C.P. Company and Stone Island. At first glance, it might appear more a chemical company than a traditional fashion house. But design, before artistic creation, concerns materials, not just fabrics of warp and woof, but hybrids born of various laminates, generated by special dying, washing and coating processes. This company, in fact, transforms woven material and presents a model, almost unique in its industry, worthy of analysis, because liberating production from the condition of traditional marketing, permits creative freedom and independent research.

Stone Island have released a video series featuring the Sportswear Company (SPW) head honcho, the very affable Carlo Rivetti. I’ve linked episode one here. It’s an interesting view into the Ravarino nerve centre of a clothing brand that excites and annoys in equal measures. One thing SPW are is durable, just like their fabrics.

The best bit in this episode is a peek into the Stone Island Historical Archive room, all 40,000 pieces of it, that’s an archived example of every single garment they’ve ever produced. I’d hate to be paying their insurance bill.

It all still looks a bit ‘cottage industry’, which was surprising to me, if welcome. Their dye shop looks like a fourth form chemistry class, or as Carlo says himself, “When I have schools visiting I tell the students that this is probably the closest thing to a renaissance painter’s workshop”.

Stay tuned for episodes two and three.

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