james jebbia of supreme talks about collaborating with stone island
Streetwear titans Stone Island and Supreme team up for a slick collection, marrying together the technical innovation and style savvy behind both brands.
Meshing technology with fashion, Stone Island's scientific and resourceful approach to technique and design has been maintained since it was launched in 1982 by the late Massimo Osti. English football fans travelling to matches in Europe during the 80s picked up on the innovative clothing Stone Island was producing in Italy, and the brand cemented its distinct position in British style. From generation to generation, Stone Island's durable outerwear has been highly sought after; its seminal black badge buttoned to the left sleeve and embroidered with a yellow and green compass is emblematic of insider status among casuals and aspirational British men.
New York's Supreme naturally wanted to collaborate with Stone Island, given its history and ingenious design methods. "I know what Stone Island means to a lot of people in England and Europe," says James Jebbia, Supreme's founder and owner. "We asked friends, who are real Stone Island fans who said, 'You gotta do this because it's really obscure', but we don't really care about that, we just wanted to keep the essence of Stone Island and make something our customers would appreciate."
Working directly with Carlo Rivetti, Stone Island's owner and Creative Director since 1993, James points out that he was incredibly hands-on in the working process: "We were dealing with the owners and Carlo was great to work with. He'd come by just for the simplest thing. They are very specific with their approach to treating fabric and dyes. They treat everything with passion, like they're just starting out."
The range unites signatures from both brands with the Stone Island emblem featuring on Supreme's ubiquitous camp cap, while sweaters and joggers position the Supreme logo under the iconic compass badge. The centrepiece of the collaboration is the jacket, which captures Stone Island's ongoing military motifs and all-terrain functionality. Handling the Stone Island heritage with integrity was paramount to Supreme, as James explains: "I look at Stone Island on the level of Polo or North Face, what they do is the best. You take the football culture and that image out of it and the clothing is phenomenal. They're innovative and unique and we'll see how our customers see it with fresh eyes."
Available in-store in NY, LA, London and online October 2nd. Available in Japan October 4th. Available at select Stone Island stores.
Photography Alex McLeish
Styling Angelo Baque
Styling assistance Grace Ladoja.
Models Ceon and Shakira.
All clothing Supreme x Stone Island