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The Obsession: Neil’s Massimo Osti Jackets

At Oliver Sweeney, we have now an obsession for traditional craftsmanship, and for mixing it with fashionable design. And whereas we know that if you’re studying this you undoubtedly share our obsession, there are also loads of different issues out there that inspire passions to rival the Cobbler-in-Chief. With that in mind, we return to our editorial series on Obsessions. Massimo Osti, the Italian menswear designer most well-known for the Stone Island and CP Company brands, was recognised by Enviornment Homme Plus magazine as the ‘Most Influential Man in Men’s Fashion of the ’90s’ and commands a huge following for his pioneering obsession for design and expertise. Describing himself as a "devoted disciple and passionate collector" of Osti’s work, Neil has an extensive archive of rare pieces that he’s been amassing for over 20 years.

The place did the obsession begin
It’s very much linked to soccer for me. I’ve at all times been a eager football fan, and from going to games within the early to mid ‘80s you started to see the now-iconic compass badge on people’s arms. That caught my eye, and the jackets themselves have been unlike any other jacket I’d ever seen: utterly completely different fabrics, seems to be and details. They only stood out, and made every little thing else look drab & uniform. I realised that they were something just fully totally different, and that basically struck a chord.

What made them popular at the time
Properly, that is dependent upon who you believe. Actually there’s a faculty of thought that says when British clubs played abroad, the fans have been exposed to new manufacturers that they hadn’t seen earlier than and jumped on them. My very own view is that while there’s an element of that, the Casuals period was about one-upmanship; going to someone else’s city and making a statement by the way you dressed and how you behaved. Those jackets have been standout jackets, but they have been additionally incredibly sensible, because soccer stadiums were very chilly in those days!

However the jackets were positively a standing image too. The character of one-upmanship implies that trends change in a short time; what was in a single week could be out the subsequent week, relying on who you had been and the place you have been within the country. I used see all types of different styles round after i went to lots of different matches as a teenager, from the early ‘80s onwards.

What was your first Massimo Osti piece
It was a quite simple, plain ribbed crewneck sweatshirt that took me 6 months to save lots of up for. Naturally, I wore it to death. I not have that sweater, unfortunately. I’d say that it wasn’t until an excellent few years later - within the mid-‘90s - that I managed to afford to indulge my ardour properly, because the items had been just SO expensive.

One among Neil’s earliest Stone Island pieces, this jacket is from the brand’s first-ever assortment in 1982

When did you make the transition from fan to collector
Properly it wasn’t a acutely aware determination. I find the easiest way to describe it is that the world is split into two teams: you either have accumulating in your DNA, otherwise you don’t. As a baby I collected stamps and as an early teenager I collected football programmes, so it didn’t surprise me that I ended up being obsessed (or taken, quite) by something else, which happened to be these collections of clothes. I realised it had turn into a bona fide collection after i couldn’t match all of the coats right into a wardrobe!

One of the newest additions to the gathering is that this subject jacket from Stone Island Shadow Undertaking AW15

What number of items do you have got now
The jackets I attempt to maintain across the 200 mark, otherwise…well, it’s essential to keep up some home harmony. The entire assortment including jackets, jumpers, shirts, POS and books might be somewhere between four hundred and 500 pieces.

Do you discover time to put on all of them
Absolutely - that’s the crux of the gathering, for me. Part of the enjoyable is that I can go into the rooms, see what’s there after which pick something to wear. At one stage I did have the concept that I’d have one jacket for day by day of the 12 months! For the moment though, it may be whatever grabs my fancy at any given time, there’s no particular set plan. Obviously I have favourites, and items I solely put on for special events, however in general I put on as a lot of it as doable.

When exposed to temperature drops, the Stone Island Ice Jacket’s technical outer changes color as demonstrated here

How does that affect the curation of the collection
For me, it gets more durable to half with items. Over the years, you get to a degree the place almost the whole lot you’ve received is one thing you really, actually need. I’ve usually been quite impulsive at buying things, so I used to have a bunch of things that both were the incorrect dimension, or ‘what on earth i thinking at the particular time ’ so these are simply divestible without too much of an emotional downside. The sadness of one piece going is normally outweighed by the joy of the following piece arriving. It’s always evolving, it’s dynamic, and it’s meant to be a collection that's worn.

Some of the most fragile pieces in Neil’s assortment, these two jackets are made with real metal thread and are stone island sale kopen extremely heavy

What do you look for when examining a new piece
The first stone island sale kopen criteria for including is that it has to be one thing I may wear, nonetheless outlandish it could look (especially given my age), but it’s got to be one thing that I might match into. Then it’s about the small print, something catches your eye in regards to the garment and there’s an instinctive, emotional attachment to it. The color, the fabric, the styling indirectly of it, it simply there’s no strict pattern to it, but I have to say I’m drawn to brightly-colored items significantly.

The label contained in the Steel Shell jackets explains how they are made (and includes recommendation on the right way to discharge static construct-up)

The place do you go to search out new pieces
Everywhere. Through the years, I’ve bought to know folks everywhere in the world! I’m part of a web-based neighborhood referred to as the Osti Archive Forum, and there’s quite a thriving marketplace there. eBay is clearly a massively widespread place, however it’s more durable to find these uncommon items as its recognition increases, however it’s wonderful the place issues crop up. The Metropolis jacket took me years to seek out because they’re so massive by way of sizing, however I eventually obtained hold of one when I used to be chatting to a man who ran a store in Exeter and by pure chance he mentioned that he had an previous CP piece in his wardrobe that he hadn’t worn for years…

The built-in pollution mask was an integral part of the Metropolis jacket

How did you are feeling while you discovered that
It’s a mixture, really. Obviously there’s large excitement and elation that you’re going to get hold of one thing; within the amassing community such finds are often called Grails (for obvious causes) and that was positively considered one of mine on the time. I think about gathering is a bit like drug taking, in that you’re all the time trying for your next hit; in some ways it’s the downside of accumulating - you’re virtually by no means happy, there’s at all times something else that you want to move on to. And whilst the joys of the chase and the hunt is fantastic, there’s at all times seems to be that yearning for one more…just another!

The now-iconic CP Firm Mille Miglia jacket had built-in goggles and was designed for the infamous Italian street race

What’s the basis of the enchantment of those items for you
Once I acquired extra into the history of the man and realized all about the brands, it completely appealed to me much more. I feel what I admire most about him is the creativity and dedication - he was absolutely dedicated to experimentation, he by no means sat on his laurels and was prepared to dream extraordinary issues - for example who would think of putting goggles within the hood of a jacket 30 years ago Immediately it’s an iconic piece. There’s a movie they did for the 30th Anniversary of Stone Island which says that Osti put experimentation into the DNA of the entire organisation, and I believe that’ nonetheless there in the present day.

The inside label from one of many earliest Stone Island Ice Jackets

Is there one which bought away
A lot! In terms of Stone Island itself, the Ice Jackets [Editor’s note: completed with a thermo-sensitive resin treatment, these chameleonic jackets are icons of the Stone Island model. The molecules of the micro pigments encapsulated within the resin change the path of light and get darker because the temperature drops.] are my explicit favourites. There’s a really uncommon version of the Ice Jacket that had a helicopter visor in the hood; I feel it was a prototype, not essentially a production piece, however sadly that was one which obtained away.