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Massimo Osti Studio: Lorenzo Osti on Honouring His Father’s Legacy

Lorenzo Osti

“So that was the statement, let’s do something complicated and see what happens.

Lorenzo Osti, much like his father, Massimo, is ostinati. Translating to stubborn in Italian, Lorenzo was taught to embody the phrase as he watched his father take C.P. Company and Stone Island to new heights through rigorous fabric innovation, deeming no task too farfetched. And on the precipice of his latest creative venture, aptly named after and designed to honour his father’s legacy, Lorenzo is sat in his office in Bologna, as cool as they come. 

Just an hour before we spoke, the team behind Massimo Osti Studio, the aforementioned fashion label, released Chapter 1, its inaugural collection simply titled Alcantara. Better known for its application within the automobile industry, the abrasion-resistant material has no business being used on a garment. “He was never accepting of no,” said Lorenzo. “We try, we try, we try, and that’s the only way we push boundaries forward. This was a statement, let’s try and do something complicated and see what happens.”

Lorenzo is no stranger to making the impossible seem feasible. His father started C.P. Company in 1971, and later Stone Island in 1982. While both labels are related through Massimo, it’s safe to say their family ties fall closer to cousins than brothers. C.P. Company, the brand Lorenzo has lead as President for over 8 years, has sprung to life through its perpetual technological advancements and commitments to converting military wear into sportswear while keeping its inherent functionality intact. Stone Island follows a similar thought process, using military insignia and archival iconography on modern pieces, although in current times it’s moved to a more luxurious status. 

Massimo Osti Studio balances both schools of thought, blending the two together by means of experimentation. The label has teased its future seven collections, each of which focuses on a single material or thought process that Lorenzo deems technically difficult. “We had big issues, we had to throw away a lot of samples. But that’s the spirit of this brand – if you do something easy, everyone can do it,” said Lorenzo. 

Thankfully, Lorenzo has seen this model utilized successfully by his father in the past. Massimo started Left Hand in 1993, a sportswear label that was universalized through a single fabric. This same ethos was applied to Stone Island originally with Tela Stella. Lorenzo has adopted the same design schedule, continuing the one fabric policy that his father started at Left Hand. As he says, “It’s in our DNA to focus on this. This is going to be as pure, simple, and straightforward as possible.”

In order to achieve his goals of applying singular, seemingly impossible materials onto wearable menswear, Lorenzo has opened the doors to what could only be described as Narnia to lovers of his father’s labels. In Bologna lives an archive full of over 5,000 objects, previously over 39,000, ranging from clothing that was built as standalone samples to handwritten notes including design ideas that never saw the light of day. Most may see the archive as an easy cop-out, a means to simply modernize old designs. But for Lorenzo, this vast room serves as a spectacle for inspiration. 

“I can not say that the Alcantara isn’t connected to the micro fabric that he used at one of his other brands,” said Lorenzo. “We are referencing the archive but we are not looking to do nostalgia. Nothing will look like something he did already and that’s much more risky and more uncomfortable. Working directly from it will be much more safe, but it will not be honest.”

The focus of Massimo Osti Studio is to develop a culture of fans who appreciate the construction of their garments, along with its daring attempts to innovate fabrics. Stone Island and C.P. Company live fluidly within subcultures all around the globe, and their respective badge and lens iconography is synonymous with a particular person depending on where in the world you reside. Massimo Osti Studio aims to move away from direct brand recognition, preferring to be avowed for its immense quality. 

“My father never really resonated with this. We want to be ahead of everybody else.”

Massimo Osti Studio’s first drop surfaced just a few days ago in the form of a 5-piece collection including staples that Lorenzo wouldn’t necessarily deem minimal or basic but as essentials. The clothes lack obvious branding, apart from a few embossed logos here and there. What speaks volumes is the depth of the Alcantara, which tells the brand’s story through means of active innovation. 

This chapter’s standout garment is its highest ticket item, a knee-length parka adorned in full desert sand-colored Alcantara. Featuring a nose-high collar secured by a storm flap, the garment has been sealed by the studio’s proprietary heat-sensitive mesh tape, producing a unique structure and seamless final product.

Following the first release, Massimo Osti Studio is set to drop monthly on its official web store. Further, a legacy foundation is in the works to help transfer Massimo’s working methods to the younger generations of designers.

While Lorenzo navigates the journey of honouring his father, one aspect of his ethos will remain at the forefront – he will forever be ostinati.

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