Proper Mag visit the Osti Archive

Proper Mag visit the Osti Archive

Founding editors of Proper Mag Neil Summers and Mark Smith recently visited the Massimo Osti Archive in Bologna, Italy. Read our e-interview with them to hear all about their trip.

Neil, Mark – how are you both?

Hi there (Neil here) we’re great cheers and still on a bit of a high from having taken delivery of the new issue of our magazine. Without blowing our trumpet too loudly, we’re really proud of this issue and think it’s our best to date.

What an opportunity, meeting Lorenzo Osti and visiting the Archive – how did this come about?

We contacted Lorenzo about six or seven years ago I think, just to say hello really and became email mates which led to an open invitation to the archive. This year with us going full time with the magazine we decided that it was finally time to get over to Bologna and visit him in person.

For those unbeknown, explain what the Osti Archive is exactly and who Lorenzo is.

Lorenzo is the son of Massimo Osti who sadly passed away in 2005 yet remains a legendary figure within the world of menswear. He was a true pioneer and visionary who was responsible for creating both the Stone Island and C.P. Company labels as well as lots of smaller but no less interesting labels such as Left Hand and Boneville.

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Did anything in particular blow you away? And did you manage to spot any of your grails from the archive?

It was a little overwhelming to be honest; there were literally hundreds of jackets that amazed us in lots of different ways. I guess putting one of the original Stone Island Tela Stella cape from 1982 was pretty incredible. I also let out a shriek when I discovered one of the overalls that Massimo designed for the Volvo factory workers in Sweden. Imagine going to work every day and getting to wear that?!

For Lorenzo it must be an honour to carry his father’s surname and brands forward. What was it like to meet him and what ambitions does he have for the Massimo Osti brand?

It was fantastic meeting Lorenzo who was incredibly warm and welcoming in a way that only Italians can pull off. Not only did he show us all the gems of the archive and explain how they were made he also took us on a guided tour of Bologna then bought us lunch. Naturally he’s incredibly proud of his father’s legacy and wants the entire world to know just how influential and ahead of their time his designs were. Just like his dad, Lorenzo’s also an incredibly smart guy and is the director of his own creative agency as well as recently heading up the marketing department over at C.P. Company.

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From watching your video, it looks like there was plenty to feast your eyes on – how many pieces were there exactly?

I think Lorenzo told us that there were around five thousand pieces and fifty thousand fabric samples.

Do you feel differently about both C.P. Company and Stone Island now you’ve been out to Bologna?

I think if anything it just reaffirmed our love and appreciation of Osti’s work and of Italian culture as a whole. I named my son Massimo so it was nice to finally make that connection with the Osti family. I’ll take him over there when he’s old enough to fit into a Mille Miglia!

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Is there anything you saw that you would love for them to reissue?

As much as I would love the Ice Jacket or the entire Navy Arctic range to make a reappearance, I don’t think Stone Island. or C.P. Company are brands that need to make reissues. For me their appeal comes from the amount of time and effort that they put into pushing boundaries via extensive development in order to create something new, exciting and extraordinary. Now that Lorenzo is involved with C.P. it will be really interesting to see which direction the brand goes in, having an Osti involved again can only be a good thing.

What is it that you think makes Stone Island and C.P. Company such a sought after brand in the UK?

As mentioned I think their appetite for innovation has always played a part, as it has that exotic, hard to find, expensive European quality that they both possess in bucket loads. There’s something special about owning a piece of Stone Island or C.P. Company clothing that is impossible (for me) to explain in words.

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Bologna in May, what can you tell us – was it a pleasant outing?

It’s a big university city and there’s quite a young/cool vibe there despite the impressive medieval architecture. The food was exceptional too, though I maybe had one too many espressos, the stuff you get in Costa doesn’t give you palpitations like that! It’s well worth going to for a city break and it’s only 35 minutes from Florence on the train.

What’s next for Proper Mag and when can we get our hands on Issue 19?

Issue 19 is available right now from the Proper Mag site and we’re currently planning Issue 20 at the moment. We’re also doing lots of exciting creative projects with a variety of menswear brands at the moment, watch this space…

Issue 19 of Proper Mag is available to purchase now, where you can read their exclusive interview with the Marketing Director Lorenzo Osti including some behind the scenes photography.

Explore the latest Stone Island to land at Tessuti here.

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