10% off with newsletter signup | Free shipping on orders over 300 euros | Pay in installments |

Stone Island and street culture, the journey of a cultural phenomenon

From the Milanese Paninari to the hypebeast, via the English Ultras, Stoney today represents much more than a brand, it is a matrix. In our article where Stone Island comes from, we already mentioned the importance of the compass rose in certain cultures. Today, we're going to look at the Italian brand's place in the urban movement.

The Stone Island and street culture connection is not new. If you look closely, from its launch the Italian brand has been associated with the urban movement through the Italian youth. In the early 1980s, Stone Island was very popular with an Italian movement called Paninaro. This fashion was born in Milan, more precisely in the Piazza San Babila district, a few young people gathered at the Al Panino sandwich shop, which is where the name of the movement comes from. These young people, passionate about clothes, would get together to show off their latest acquisitions. One watchword, the brand. The Paninari phenomenon spread throughout Italy thanks to the media, which encouraged this ultra-consumerism and lifestyle inspired by American culture. As Renato Carosone so aptly defines it in his song "Tu vuo' fa' l'americano" (You want to do Americano in French), they are young people who wear ostentatious brands, wear hats, play baseball and eat at the Fast Food, in short, they dream the life of the average American.

Later, it was the hooligan phenomenon that appropriated the brand when English fans discovered it in Italy during European Cup matches. At that time the English fans met the famous Paninari, and recognized themselves in the china of beautiful pieces, passionate about clothes. So they decided to leave with a souvenir, the Stone Island brand. As soon as said, as soon as done, the compass rose was projected in the English stadiums of the First Division and then the Premier League. It spread like wildfire throughout England until it became the emblem of Terrace Casuals and Hooligan culture.

The whole of the United Kingdom continued to be passionate about the brand. Rock was an important accelerator with bands such as Oasis, The Housemartins, Bez and Stone Roses as ambassadors of choice. Football professionals were also seduced by the brand with the compass rose, players like Wayne Rooney, coaches like Pep Guardiola, everyone wanted Stone Island. The 7th art also took an interest in the brand through the Casual culture in films such as Hooligans Green Street which follows West Ham fans or The Football Factory about Chelsea fans. It was then the turn of street culture and English hip hop or Grime to get involved with artists like Skepta, Stormzy, Kano or Dave, we find the last two in the Top Boy series following 2 drug dealers dressed as Stone in the Summer House district. Stone Island thus succeeds in reaching the purists of all the major Anglo-Saxon subcultures.

Stone Island meets HIP-HOP

  • Drake, the preacher

The rise of Stone Island Across the Atlantic is due to a Canadian, not just any Canadian, because it is in the person of Drake that the message got through. As an unofficial ambassador for the brand, the Toronto rapper has been a frequent presence on his networks wearing Stone Island since 2015. He can also be seen with brand owner Carlo Rivetti and his son Matteo. He has clearly taken the brand to the next level, opening it up to the world. He even went so far as to make himself a bling-bling with the brand's logo in gold, for the modest sum of $100,000.

  • Stone Island and Drake, why?

But why did Drake take a passion for this Italian brand? Quite simply because he is passionate about English culture, especially Grime and street-culture, as evidenced by his collaborations with Skepta, Section Boyz and many others. But the most telling thing is that in 2016 he leaves the Young Money label to join Boy Better Know, the label of the famous Skepta. Everything becomes clearer! Yes, it seems that the Canadian, feeling the wind change, has set sail for the UK, because according to him, that's where it's going to happen. For the moment, history proves him right, because British culture, whether it be in rap or fashion, is becoming a reference point.

  • The explosion

With Drake as its ambassador, the brand soon spread around the world, now reaching all walks of life and all social classes. Whether in English stadiums, on NBA floors or in the cinema, the Italian brand has become a real social phenomenon. Spike Lee, Jason Statham, Spielberg, Vince Staples, Travis Scott, Liam Gallagher, Drake, so many names that have participated in the explosion of Stone Island in the world, making its emblem, the compass rose, logical because the brand has developed in the 4 corners of the earth.

Designed for the Italian wealthy classes on the move, carried by the Milanese ghettos, appropriated by the English popular class, emblematic of the ostentatious US hip-hop, all the way to the American upper echelons, the brand was built around a strong sense of belonging. Breaking all social boundaries in the image of other brands such as Ralph Lauren. These brands allow us to belong to a community out of aesthetic sensitivity.

The irony is that the brand has gone from modest Italians dreaming of America to rich Americans wanting to wear Made in Italy pieces. But this mainstream future of the brand raises questions for the enthusiasts, in particular would this development not be an obstacle to the brand's own sense of belonging? Wouldn't wearing Stone Island become a standard among many others? For the moment these questions remain unanswered, but one thing is certain, Stone Island has not finished surprising us.

About the Stone Island Universe, find our articles :