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Stone Island and Hooligans Between Love and Hate

In the article where does Stone Island comes from, we briefly mentioned the close relationship that there can be between the Italian brand and hooligans. Stone Island and hooligans, forms a rather atypical alliance and today represents much more than a simple rapprochement. As surprising as it may seem, the compass rose is literally rooted in the culture of hooliganism, and vice versa. It is therefore interesting to come back to this fascinating encounter in more detail.

30 May 1984, Rome hosts the final of the Champions Clubs' Cup between Liverpool and AS Roma, Rome's Stadio Olimpico vibrates, the city trembles. On that day, Liverpool beat the Italians on penalties, even though the Italians were playing at home. It was a landmark match, yet the event was in the stands. A passionate relationship was born.

Stone Island and the Hooligans, how did the brand become the emblem of Casual?

For many the term casual means "a sporty and chic look", not here, get it out of your head. Casual with a big "C" stands for the style, culture and mentality of Ultras, Tifosis, Hooligans... But how did Stone Island become so steeped in this culture?

Stone Island, official sponsor

The love between Stone Island and the football world was not long in coming. Indeed, in 1984, the brand at the Compass Rose celebrates its second anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than by to become an official sponsor of the Italian national team? Unfortunately for Osti (Founder of the brand), Italy failed to qualify for the European Cup, failing to reach the penultimate place in their group.

The final of the Champions Clubs Cup

The Liverpool fans, who made the trip in numbers, took the time to wander around. into Rome before head over the stadium. In the Roman streets a brand caught their attention, a brand marked by the compass rose embroidered on a wool patch adorning the sleeve Left... Stone Island. That same night in the stadium, they saw that some tifosis of Roma were parading around with the woolly patch. The English did not need any more to repatriate the brand after the Reds' victory in Rome.

Stone Island: The emblem of a culture

As soon as it landed on Saxon soil, the brand spread through the stadiums at breakneck speed. The English casuals made the brand their figurehead, just as Fred Perry, Lyle Scott, Ben Sherman, Merc and many others. Stone Island can be found in many movies like Green Street or the Football Factory, dealing with the Casual lifestyle. And even if the current commercial success of the brand embarrasses the enthusiast, it remains a coat of arms, an emblem for this hooligan culture, between dandyism and violence.

Why is Stone Island so much the Hooligan way of life?

It's a legitimate question, why the attraction? You'll soon understand that it's the properties, values and inspirations of the brand that make this relationship logical.

Outdooring in its purest form

It's no wonder that Stone Island, a brand at the forefront of research and development in terms of technical outerwear, appeals to people who spend many evenings in the cold and draughts of English stadiums. For an activity that sometimes resembles bivouacs, what better than a brand specialising in waterproof, windproof and breathable fabrics. A good way for these football soldiers to stay dry and warm on those long English evenings.

Military inspiration and utilitarism

Stone Island is really inspired by the military world in all its forms. Whether it is the Navy, the Alpine hunters or the Army, we find many characteristics of military textiles in Stone Island's creations. Again, it's not surprising that clothing designed for the military must be adaptable and durable outdoor pieces. And it's exactly these characteristics that appeal to the restless groups of ultras and hooligans? Clothes that can withstand not only the onslaught of opposing supporters but also the harsh climate thanks to materials such as Soft-shell, ripstop, Tela Stella and many others.

A tumultuous relationship

Part of the casual culture is no longer as enthusiastic about Stone Island. Considering the branded as too mainstream, these chasers of beautiful pieces who feel dispossessed of a cultural emblem no longer see the Compass Rose as the holy grail, even going so far as to launch anti-Stone Island songs in the stadiums. But isn't this love/hate relationship the sign of a perennial passion?

Some people are fans, others don't, one thing is for sure, the Stone Island brand leaves no one indifferent. And that's precisely what makes it a brand and a label apart, out of the ephemeral fashions of our time.

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