Stone Island ending the happiest year in its history, revenues +20%

Stone Island will soon be ending the happiest year in its history: President Carlo Rivetti speaks of a double-digit growth in turnover and profitability, a great success in the US – the most difficult market for a casualwear brand – an increase in sales even in Italy and increasingly greater brand awareness on internet, so much so as to trigger various forms of collecting and sites specializing in vintage clothes, where the items can cost over ten times the original price.
“If I look from the outside, doing a kind of exercise in economic-financial meditation, I understand better how it was possible to reach these results in such a difficult year,” says Rivetti. “We will end 2016 at €105 million, up 20% on 2015 and up 100% on the last five years. The orders for the spring-summer 2017 collection, which have already been made, are up by 30%. The EBITDA has reached €18 million, 35% more than 2015. I have never tried to anticipate the market, nor to chase it, and these figures are surprising even for me. I have always had, however, very clear ideas about many other things, and now we are reaping the benefits of this consistency and teamwork.”
To think that only three years ago there were “rumors” of the sale of Stone Island to an American giant: “I have never denied the negotiations, it was, in any case, an experience,” points out Rivetti. “But I understood that we can and we must remain independent. With an external partner, Stone Island would become, inevitably, something else that almost certainly I would not like anymore.”
Rivetti has always postponed the arrival in China, but export has, however, reached 65%, thanks to Europe and the US, where the New York store was opened in 2016 and the L.A. one will shortly be enlarged. “The wholesale distribution is increasingly hand-picked, because we now have 20 direct stores throughout the world, nine of which were opened in the last year and a half. E-commerce is worth 6% of the turnover, and we do not want to force the growth. The same goes for children. We must remain focused on outerwear, choosing our collaborations with care. With Supreme and Nike it was a success, but the same formula cannot always be repeated.”
In the collections, there is also knitwear, denim, even sneakers. “But the story we are telling and that is so appealing to the Americans concerns the research of the fabrics, the desire to meld technology and style, Italian taste and versatility of use, while maintaining the correct quality-price ratio. The figures regarding the seasons were also positive: summer and winter have almost the same weight, a difficult balance for a brand famous for anti-cold and anti-wind jackets and coats.”
The only thing that worries Rivetti in the medium term is the production capacity: “We went from 1,075,000 items of clothing in 2015 to 1,355,00 and we are almost at the limit of our current structures. But it is nice to have such problems.”