The Stone Island camouflage connection goes all the way back to 1989. Now over 30 years later the camo connection of the Italian sportswear label is just as strong as it ever was.
Stone Island is more than just picking a fabric, a colour and slamming the classic compass patch on the left arm. Honestly there aren’t many brands like Stone Island that put as much time and effort into their pieces as the Italian sportswear label do. Looking back at the Italian sportswear brands’ rich history of using camouflage across their designs, it just shows us that the Stone Island Camouflage connection is just as relevant today as it first was way back in 1989. From the terraces to the UK’s very own streetwear aesthetic, we just can’t simply get enough of the camo from the Compass logo brand.
Ever since the beginning fabric & its function was the main priority for the founder of Stone Island. Founded by the Godfather of sportswear himself, Massimo Osti in 1982, Stone Island was one of the first brands to have reflective, colour-changing and heat reactive designs on their clothing. Osti also pioneered the a revolutionary method of dyeing garment, for a broader spectrum of colour he introduced the concept of dyeing garments on their own. Utilising Osti’s garment dyeing innovation with a clear military driven aesthetic there’s one design that’s been a reoccurring favourite for Stone Island over the years and that’s camouflage.
Stone Island first put camo on their ‘Ice Jacket’ for the SS‘089 and again for the SS’090 collection. The camouflage, which was US Woodland inspired, also appears on other pieces like the AW ‘010’011 Ice Jacket. About ten years later, for the AW ‘999’000 collection, Stone Island showed us their own take on the unique camo design yet again with another very special “heat sensitive” Ice Jacket. This particular piece has become like the Holy Grail of Stoney styles with resale values upwards of £1000, a lot of money to pay for a jacket that’s now over 30 years old.
The ‘Raso Gommato Camo Cover Transparent’ jacket showed that Stone Island were able to innovate the camo print too. With a jacket constructed from one of the legendary Stone Island fabrics, Raso, you could already here see clear similarities to the AW ‘17’18 ‘Grid’ camo design that would release as much as 18 years later. Over the years Raso has become a key part of the Italian sportswear brands’ collections usually featuring across outerwear from season to season. Back in the mid noughties when Stone Island enjoyed a massive revival courtesy of films like Green Street & Grime artists like Kano, Raso Gommato was one of the main faked jackets. There are still thousands of fake “Raso Gommato’s” knocking about on resale sites that were never actually released by the brand. Our main tip here is never buy a Raso with a yellow strip running down the placket!
Stoney continued to release camouflage decorated pieces throughout their collections. For the AW’07’08 collection a ‘Hand-painted’ camouflage design was featured followed by the return of the ‘Ice Camo’ for the AW’10’11 collection. The following 8 years later the Stone Island team included some of the most iconic designs, both classic and innovative camouflages hit the stores and the online shelves.
For AW’14’15 we saw the release of a subtle, hand painted ‘Tortoise Shell’ camo design being. Featuring shades of orange, red and black several pieces were released. All built up by the legendary ‘Raso Gommato’ fabric. As the name implies the jacket was literally hand painted using state of the art materials by a specialist team of creatives making each jacket completely unique from the other.
The year after Stone Island went for a more classic print as they presented the ‘Flowing Water’ camouflage for the SS’15 collection. This design featured yet another ‘Woodland’ looking camo inspired by an Indonesian camouflage design from the 1960s. The design appeared on several different pieces and in multiple colourways including a reflective jacket during the 2015 season. The same period also saw Stone Island transition from traditional terrace wear to the streetwear worlds thanks to their ongoing collaboration with Supreme.
It wasn’t until more recently that Stone Island gave us some of their most bold and vibrant camo designs to date. With the SS’18 ‘Alligator’ camo kicking it all off we could yet again see “Stoneys” superiority when it comes to creating new patterns and interesting colourways. The scaly pattern is however a lot more advanced than meets the eye. Featuring on a Mussola Gommata Velour Parka & Lightweight Cotton Nylon Jacket, the Alligator Camo was achieved through a 6 colour printing process, using 5 pigments and 1 polyurethane colour with a raised rubberised effect. Drawing inspiration from a Polish military “alligator” camouflage pattern the print was hand-painted, photographed and then printed, in typical Stoney fashion.
AW’18 featured a bold capsule decorated by a ‘White Tiger’ camouflage. The print, inspired by the Asian white tiger, was made from nylon-cotton tela and treated a similar six colour printing process used for the ‘Alligator Camo’. The monochromatic jacket featured in the capsule has been completed with a polyurethane coating that gives the piece a shimmering effect. PrimaLoft® technology was also used to keep you warm and cosy.
Stone Island’s collaborations with Supreme have always been highly anticipated and appreciated. For Supremes SS’19 collection we saw a collab filled with tactical-wear inspired pieces dressed in subtle camouflage in black, red, coral and light blue, while innovative fabrics deliver water and wind resistance. The collection included garments like the Riot Mask jacket, cargo pants & a tactical vest all featuring unique camouflage print.
As many of you already know the previous collection, AW ‘19’20 featured yet another camo capsule in the form of the ‘Paintball’ camo. As insinuated by the name the camouflage was made by shooting colour at the garments creating a “messy” yet very interesting design. As every piece was separately shot at, every piece in this capsule is unique with its own pattern. Also unique for this capsule is that the Stone Island badge too is camo decorated as it was attached to the garments at the point of painting.
Which brings us on to more present times and one of the more recent camouflages “Stoney” put on the table, for the SS ’20 collection. The ‘Desert’ camo featured a range of garments from bomber jackets to bucket hats decorated by a black, red, white and pink ‘Woodland’ inspired camouflage design. The “Camo Dévoré Watro” design quickly followed the Desert camo drop and utilised a three colour pigment print which was achieved through a double recipe dyeing process.
The Stone Island Rain Camouflage then dropped for the Autumn/Winter 2021 season and featured a reflective print that changes under bright lights. In typical Stoney fashion, the unique reflective camouflage featured across their Naslan Light Watro abrasion resistance fabric and included a parka, bomber jacket & tactical vest.
For Spring/Summer 2022 Stone Island switched things up camo wise with their nautical inspired Marina line. Giving a nod to Massimo Osti’s passion for sailing where he would test out the performance of fabrics, the Marina line has become an integral part of Stoney’s seasonal collections. The Stone Island ‘Marina’ Reef Camo collection featured an eye catching abstract all over print reminiscent of an ocean scene across a range of staple sweats & tees alongside 3L GORE-TEX outerwear.
2022 also saw Stone Island release their Heritage Camo collection which featured an archive inspired camouflage which gives a nod to the original Ice Jacket from the early 90s. Featuring across a range of nylon ripstop outerwear in two unique prints, the garments were made with a slightly slub weave nylon ripstop both in the weft and warp, composed of mechanically spun nylon fibres. Finished off with a light internal resin coating the archive inspired print featured across a V-neck gilet, overalls, pants as well a down jacket which featured premium feather down insulation. Also included in the 40th Anniversary release was the Nylon Watro Field Jacket which featured a removable lining in Nylon Metal as well as 7 gauge knitwear, fleece hoodies & matching Bermuda shorts.
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