“We are opening a boutique in Venice in the first semester of 2018 and we are looking for a location in Tokyo,” said Carlo Rivetti, president of Sportswear Co., which is Stone Island’s parent firm, adding that the company is also scouting stores in Milan to relocate its unit in the Italian city.
The Modena, Italy-based company counts 20 stores.
“This is not only our biggest store but also the most beautiful,” Rivetti said enthusiastically. “Since we opened last summer, we can say that it has been working really well, exceeding our expectations.”
Located at the corner of North La Brea Avenue and West 1st Street, the flagship occupies an entire building and features extensive windows facing the street. Designed to carry current collections as well as an exhibition space dedicated to making customers more familiar with the brand’s heritage, the store’s interiors are marked by the presence of blue crystal walls separating the spaces, which are decorated with the brand’s iconic Rose of the Winds logo. This also appears on the ceiling and on the stone and steel flooring.
The brand’s innovative approach to design is reflected in the displays combining fiberglass, carbon fiber, high-tech mirrored aluminum and industrial felt. In addition, furniture pieces are juxtaposed to the functional modular system developed by German industrial designer Marc Buhre exclusively for Stone Island.
“The requests of the customers in Los Angeles are in line with those we get in our New York boutique, but we can say that while New Yorkers prefer sober tones, people in Los Angeles opt for vivid colors,” Rivetti observed.
Although the U.S. still account for about 3 percent of the company’s total business, the market is generating outstanding results. “We are growing a lot in North America where we are also elevating our wholesale distribution.”
Stone Island is present in about 90 stores across the U.S., including Barneys, Sense and Haven.
According to the entrepreneur, the company is closing 2017 with revenues of 147 million euros, up 36 percent compared to 2016. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 70 percent to 34 million euros.
The company also expects to continue growing in 2018. “The sales of the spring 2018 collection to our clients are up 35 percent compared to the previous winter season,” Rivetti added.
Even if Italy remains the brand’s biggest market, accounting for 33 percent of the company’s total business, Stone Island is increasing its sales across all the international markets.
“Our online business also grew 55 percent in 2017,” Rivetti said.
Last July, Sportswear Co. sold a 30 percent of Stone Island to Singapore-based investment firm Temasek.
“It’s great working with them, they have total trust in the company, in the strategies and in the management,” said Rivetti, adding that in the future their investment partners will be also key in understanding the specific needs of the Asian markets. “But now it’s too early. We have to focus on consolidating the U.S. and, once we manage to achieve that, Asia will follow.”