On the 6th of October Stone Island Presents arrived at the old Granada Studios in Manchester and Giancarlo Ricci were in town for the festivities. After two hugely successful events in London and Glasgow Stone Island joined forces with Manchester’s Warehouse Project to deliver a truly spectacular event. I couldn’t believe my luck when I received the invite to go along on the Ricci guest list, as a passionate Stone Island enthusiast this was an absolute gift from the gods! I arrived at the venue feeling very pleased with myself, I was even more pleased when I realised that I was one of the very first people in the queue. After showing my ticket I was handed some plastic tokens that were emblazoned with the Stone Island logo, I was then informed that these could be exchanged for free drinks at the bar, happy days!
Whilst passing through the external security I was met with the sight of the brands iconic compass logo which was being projected on to the outside of the building, I knew instantly that this was going to be a very special night. After some more queuing up I was eventually let through the entrance and into the event. The first thing to really catch my eye was a huge Stone Island flag which was suspended from the ceiling whilst being simultaneously backlit by a powerful spotlight; this in turn projected the logo across the floor of the entrance, very clever stuff indeed! Then I clocked a stall which was selling limited edition souvenir t-shirts, all the proceeds of which were being donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, how could I possibly resist!
My attention quickly switched to a huge screen which was showcasing videos of the new Autumn/Winter 2017 collection and against the darkened backdrop of the venue this really was a sight to behold. The lads from Ricci had not yet arrived so I got myself a drink and set about snapping some photos of the stunning visual effects, and of course a few selfies! The place was still quite empty and whilst taking some shots of the big screen I noticed a man who seemed to be inspecting everything in great detail, as I got closer I realised the person I was looking at was none other than Stone Island CEO Carlo Rivetti. I made my way over to him and introduced myself using my very basic Italian and asked if I could have a photo, he very kindly obliged and also took the time to chat to me for a few minutes. Signore Rivetti was a really nice fella and was also very humble for someone of his legendary status; I got straight on the phone to Giancarlo Ricci head honcho Marc Goodman and told him to get his skates on as Carlo was in the building!
As well as all the mind blowing Stone Island stuff this was also a serious music night featuring banging DJ sets from Detroit’s Omar S as well as UK talents Joy Orbison and Kirk Degiorgio. The atmosphere was simply amazing and I was very fortunate to meet some really nice people, not to mention some serious Stone Island aficionados including Leeds based collector Luke Graham who later that evening managed to collar Carlo Rivetti to sign his archivio book!
I little later on I found myself in the VIP area where I finally met up with Marc and Matty, time for some serious drinking! The other lads from the Ricci delegation were out mingling in the now crowded venue which had the feel of a late 80’s warehouse party. I managed to bump into Carlo Rivetti again and took the opportunity to grab some more photos and have another natter, after the lads from Ricci had left for the night it was time for me to go and find a taxi. I awoke the next morning with a very sore head and a bag containing my souvenir t-shirt, a plastic Stone Island pint pot and drinks token and of course some very special memories.