In 2008, Carlo Rivetti took over as Stone Island’s creative director, replacing Paul Harvey. As the founder of C.P. Company back in 1975, he brought a lot of expertise to the brand, which he was a shareholder for since 1983. But even before then, Rivetti had a long history with fashion as his family had worked in the industry for decades.

During the 19th century, Rivetti’s grandfather Giuseppe Rivetti began selling cows to start his own wool factory. The company remained exclusively within the family until 1920s, when members decided to purchase and merge their firm with the GFT group. Around the 1950s, Rivetti’s father, Silvio, convinced his brothers to give up their shares in the wool factories in order to buy out GFT. They were successful and introduced many Italians to a technique that was mostly unheard of: garments created on theoretical measurements—or in layman’s terms, sizes. Before then, most clothing had to be tailored, but this new technique allowed the brand to dress thousands of Italians without ever having to see them.

And despite a few bumps in the road, including the oil crisis of 1973, the business endured and grew. In 1975, Rivetti joined GFT with a single mission: to start a sportswear company. He, too, was obsessed with research and innovation and was drawn to Osti’s brand, now known as Stone Island.

He eventually became part owner of the company, along with Osti and Trabaldo Togna. But in 1983, due to creative differences, Rivetti bought 50 percent of the company, followed by 100 percent soon after.

In 1993, he and his sister Cristina decided to fully acquire GFT, and renamed it Sportswear Company. It was a major move for Rivetti, who, till this day, believes sportswear and formalwear are the future of clothing.

This new role allowed him to immerse himself in fabric experimentation and oversee the work of Stone Island’s creative director Harvey. But in 2008, when he took over as Harvey’s replacement, Rivetti decided that the days of Stone Island having only one designer were over; so he assembled a team to evolve the brand’s identity without discarding its emphasis on technical designs.