Forty years. Four decades. That’s how long Stone Island has been pushing the boundaries of garment design to deliver some of the fashion industry’s most exciting, experimental pieces of clothing.
Undoubtedly, outerwear is where it’s shown true excellence. From heat reactive to an exciting selection of reflective jackets, its extensive archive is an artistic array; bordering science.
In the passing of years, the thinkers and tinkering that call Stone Island home have seen to the concept, design, and development of several categories that have not only bolstered the brand’s points of entry but cemented an additional layer of collectibility for its die-hard followers.
From the otherworldly displays of Shadow Project to the sea-worthy Marina line-up, it’s fair to label Stone Island a treasure trove. Amongst these gems lives a masterclass in minimalism – Ghost Pieces.
Reaching the front line in 2011, Ghost Pieces have evolved to become a seasonal staple. Characterized by their monochromatic palettes, which once ranged from red to black, the product line stands an extreme interpretation of traditional camouflage. Though a stark contrast to Heritage Camo or Nylon Metal constructions, Ghost pieces are just as effective statement makers.
In a bid to better understand the inspirations that birthed Ghost and track its evolution through the past decade, the Stone Island team shared their insights.
When was the first Ghost collection released?
The first Ghost Pieces were released in the Spring Summer ‘011 collection – these garments are completely monochromatic, as an “extreme” evolution of the camouflage concept. On each, the iconic Stone Island badge was created in a special monochromatic version to blend with the garment.
The first jacket was made with Ventile®, a fabric of military origin, and produced in the UK from the finest 100% cotton long staple fiber. Although the fabric is neither coated nor laminated, its high density and the expansion properties of its fibers, when moist, create an exceptional weatherproof barrier.
Ventile® is a natural product that provides a unique level of comfort. Despite being extraordinarily water resistant and windproof, Ventile® is ultra-breathable and extremely durable – it's still used to this day in the British Antarctic Base by NATO pilots and for expeditions above 8000m.
How has the core color evolved over time?
In the first season, Ghost Pieces were made in only white, blue, and black. Following seasons then included red, military green, beige and brown.
How has Ghost as a whole evolved since its early collections?
Ghost Pieces have always focused on using military silhouettes and functions, subdued by their monochrome appearance garment. Through seasons, we experimented with different fabrics, engineering them to achieve the monochrome effect. This is a lot more difficult than achieving tonal hues.
Across seasons, we enlarged the Ghost Piece concept by adding knits, sweatshirts, and trousers. In the AW ‘020 collection, the same concept was applied to leather and suede footwear.
Why does it remain such an integral part of seasonal deliveries?
We continue exploring and evolving this project because it is powerful. It is very ‘Stone Island’ with different sophistication.
FW22 brings gray tones into the mix; why was this, and could further tones come into the mix in future collections?
We are cautious when developing new colorways because of the complexity of the engineering. We felt gray was a cool, refined addition.
You mentioned Ventile – are there any fabrications reserved solely for Ghost collections?
The fabric we use in Ghost Pieces is not exclusive, but the way they are used; in terms of performance and aesthetic is unique to the Stone Island Collection.