Stone Island Special - 2.0: StoneiShots
Stone Island has a long and illustrious history of different subcultures adopting, wearing, collecting and loving the brand. As a matter of fact members of these subcultures claim ownership over the brands aesthetics and know exactly how to wear or not wear that iconic badge.
So, getting into Stone Island is never easy. Old school fans of the brand often don’t seem to like the way that the young guns and new fans interpret the brand. From the old terrace heroes, football hooligans and casual lovers to connoisseurs, almost none of these fine gentlemen will ever appreciate seeing a 15 year old kid wearing tight jeans, Yeezy’s and a pink Stone Island sweater. I have to admit, I don’t rate this look either but it’s not like any old guy wearing a SI jacket and some dad jeans conforms to the buyer of Massimo Osti’s dreams. So even though you’re allowed to (and fucking should) wear whatever you want, there are arguably still well appreciated ways to wear Stone Island, the proper way. No matter if you’re a steezy old geezer or a young hypebeast.
So in a sea of badges, millions of hashtags, Drake-Chains and social media hate, Instagram does have a saviour for Stone Island aesthetics. An account that manages to get things right by creating a new kind of Stone Island look that is worn by the young and the wild all around the globe – I’m talking about StoneiShots.
StoneiShots is a hub for a new generation of SI fans, that collect and curate shots from a worldwide audience. It stands for a new look and feel within the Stone Island community. Stone Island as a brand is going in a new direction and the community are following.
Almost (almost) all of these pictures find a really interesting angle to represent the brand, and if you scroll through the feed you can witness how Rivetti's vision has turned, been interpreted within modern fashion and begun to be worn by the youth worldwide. Even the 3-5 badges at the same time, heavy weight champion, Drake already found (and followed) the account. So this thing is def heartbreak approved. It’s also probably your only chance of getting seen repping your SI garms by Drake himself (if this was on your bucket list…. I know it is).
The guy behind StoneiShots is Gino and since he started the account we’ve become good friends and internet lovers. About two months ago we had a little interview in order to find out a little bit more about his style, his passion for Stone Island and his new connection to Drake. Again I am more than happy to present you another creative mind and angle about that one Italian brand everybody wants to wear right now.
Stone Island Special: 2.0 - StoneiShots
Hi Gino, can you please introduce yourself to Biancissimo and tell us a little bit about you?
My name is Gino and I’m 27 years old. I’m from Breda, The Netherlands. About a year ago I started an Instagram account, StoneiShots.
On this account I curate content that shows the diversity among the subcultures and styles that comes with the brand Stone Island.
When did you first got in contact with Stone Island and when did you decide to start your page?
My first contact with Stone Island was when I was 14 years old and I went shopping for a new summer coat with my mom. I went in a store that sold Stone Island coats and I tried one on.
My mom told me I should get it. She loved it! When I had a look in the mirror I knew this should be my new coat. I didn’t know the brand at that time. When I had a look at the price tag I knew it would be a no go because it was around €900,-.
But from that moment (my mom and) I knew I liked that brand quite much, ha!
When I started seeing Stone Island patches more on the streets thought it didn’t suited the image I had about Stone Island. Especially by movies like Green Street Hooligans the brand got associated with Hooligans. I always thought that particular subculture was interesting but I wasn’t really into it. The association, mostly lack of knowledge, I had with the brand was a bit too strong to spent so much money (which I didn’t have at that age) for a piece.
Until 2010 I actually lost track a little bit with the brand until I was in a shop in Italy where I bought a sweater with the iconic compass on its sleeve. From that moment I started reading things about the brand and got more into it. I noticed Stone Island had more stories to tell than only producing good looking clothes.
Around 2016 I noticed on Instagram that there were only curating accounts that were focusing on the hooligan/casual scene that comes with Stone Island. So now and then you could spot a SI X Supreme Anorak, but that was about it.
There wasn’t a “meltingpotish” account that showed the diversity of the brand and who clearly credited where the content originally came from. So that’s when I thought about starting my own account where I could post imagery that I liked.
There is a certain vibe in your curated pictures that does look slightly different and fresh compared to the old look and feel of Stone Island buyers. So how would you describe the style that attracts you the most involving Stone Island?
I think it’s the difference in styles that are being posted that gives the total a certain vibe. Combined with pleasant photography. Finding a balanced variation in posts between quality vintage pieces and futuristic ninja looks, and everything in between, is what I like.
To see in what kind of styles the brand can be adapted is what I think is very interesting about Stone Island. The brand attracts a wide spectrum of subcultures.
StoneiShots isn’t telling you how to wear Stone Island. It’s about showing you how other people interpret the brand.
If you look at your Instagram and people using your hashtag, do you see a lot of change over the last year and are there special moments when you saw people using it way more often than before?
There’s most certainly a visible change in the use of the hashtag, but also on a community level.
The followers are coming from a variety of subcultures. Happenings like collabs between SI and brands such as Supreme or Nike create a lot of traffic, obviously. Or how Drake gave the brand a gentle push, gave the brand some great exposure. That development was noticeable for StoneiShots for sure.
How did the overall style of people interacting with you movement change over the last years. Do you see them evolve like Pokemon style wise or are the all sticking with the same style over the last months?
The people who I check regularly are sticking with their own style I guess, but I do notice a lot of different styles joining the followersbase. StoneiShots is being looked at from different style angles. That’s why I’m sure people will love one shot and hate the other. Deal with it.
Even tho there is a lot of hype about the brand, most of your pictures skip the common hypebeast aesthetics people getting tired of already. Is it hard to find lots of people wearing it the brand the way you prefer it or do more and more people do understand the message of your Instagram?
The cool thing is that more and more people are actively participating the hunt to find original content. I’m starting to notice more people are getting the idea of what StoneiShots is standing for and what would be interesting to post. We receive lots of DMs and get tagged a lot. Via mail we receive a lot of shots as well. If I like it I might post it up the same night. A lot of what we receive isn’t really my cup of tea but if it’s their style who am I to say something bad about it, right?
Stone Island lovers always hate on other people wearing Stone Island, from the old ones pointing fingers at the new generation, to old terrace heroes feeling culturally robbed by the generation Instagram. What is your opinion about these though scene full of people who claim to know how to wear this brand?
Exactly that discussion between different subcultures is what makes Stone island so interesting if you would ask me. Some cultures think they claimed SI and no one is allowed to interpret it differently. Fascination if you ask me. I somehow do understand the “frustration” from the older generation but I think it’s bullshit to hate on someone because you think he or she isn’t representing the brand like you do.
I once asked Mattia Rivetti how they feel about this situation, from the Stone Island point of view. This is what he said:
"We see Stone Island as a club. You can wear SI if you are or if you are not a casual. And that’s important. But when you wear the badge you feel part of something. When you cross someone in the streets who wears Stone Island you look at each other.”
That’s actually quite close to the reason why I started StoneiShots and what I’m trying to visualize.
How would you explain why there are so many new people falling in love with the brand?
I think it’s being influenced by a lot of things. The attention the brand got with the collaborations and ambassadors in the last couple of years has a lot to do with it probably but I think it’s mostly because of the fact it’s a brand with a story. Stone Island hasn’t earned its respect because of the media or hype but because it’s brand that distinguishes itself in different qualities.
Their way of garment dyeing, fabric research and their urge to keep on innovating for instance. For me, it’s a high quality brand that’s adaptable in the style how you feel you should.
Do you think the new fans actually dig a little deeper to understand why Stone Island is that big or is it all just for the hype and a picture with a badge one?
I can’t tell you in what size the brand is being overruled by hype but if you look at the online media, they’re creating some hype for sure. If you ask me it couldn’t hurt to give the readers some more insights in the brand itself. It would be worth it.
It’s undeniable to say it’s not also worn by people who wear it to proof they’re hype af but fuck it, whatever suits you, right?
In a picture perfect world, what is the best SI fit in your eyes?
For me personally it’s just a white T shirt, my Soft Shell R , black jeans and some Am1’s or Stone Island X NB 577 white. In this fit I feel most comfortable. But that’s one fit that I like to wear. I’m mostly interested is how other people like to wear it on a different level, obviously.
How much badges are too much badges, or can you actually full flex 3 to 4 like Drake without looking like an idiot?
I think a jacket and a trouser could turn out fine but more than that isn’t my cup of tea. But sometimes I do see fits that include more that 2 patches and I still like it so I think there’s a difference between what I like to see and what I like to wear.
How do you feel about Drake wearing the compass and do you actually see more people using your # since he representing the badge?
I think Drake wearing SI was a big move for the brand itself and to see everyone responding differently made me grab some popcorn and watch it explode. Personally, I think the connection between Stone Island and Drake is a good one since they’re both one of the best in what they’re doing and both had some kind of an underdog position in their timeline.
When Drake started pushing Stone Island and started following StoneiShots I noticed some more traffic for sure.
If you could choose three SI pieces, which one would they be?
Reflective prototype research jacket series 01
1988 purple ice jacket
Some extra Soft Shell R ones
Whats next with SI Shots?
Big things coming up actually. I teamed up with some close friends of mine and we decided to start a website called StoneiStore where we’re going to create a melting pot with online retailers that offer Stone Island pieces.
We’re going to make it easier to get your hands on that piece that you’re looking for.
Via StoneiShots people are asking me so often where they could buy a particular piece that we decided to create a platform where people aren’t limited to the collection / stock that their Stone Island dealer is offering but we will turn it around. If you’re looking for something, we’ll tell you where you can find it.