We think there is no introduction needed for our next interview, Lorenzo Osti, son of the deceased fashion designer Massimo Osti. He is now Marketing Director of C.P. Company and founder of LOstudio, his marketing and communication agency. He currently combines his projects between the studio and the Massimo Osti Archive.
In addition to what was sold in the year 2000, your father had a great clothing collection when he passed away. How hard was it to classify? How did you organise the items?
My father sold his whole garment archive, but he kept the fabric archive, all his papers and a small personal garment collection from which he started to rebuild a more focused garment archive. But when he passed away he left everything unsorted. The classification has been a huge task brought on mainly by my sister Agata and my mother Daniela, with also the support of professional archivists.
The garments (around 6,000 now) have all been photographed and listed in a database classified by brand, model, fabric, construction details, etc. More than 50,000 fabric samples are kept in their original format, organised by supplier and sample year. The tons of paper (sketches, notes, photocopies, etc.) has been analysed one by one and divided into projects (around 50).
Your studio is located in Bologna and you specialised in communication, marketing and design. Did you ever think about becoming a designer yourself like your father?
No way! First of all, imagine how it would be to be a designer son of “the godfather of sportswear”… A nightmare. Besides that, I never felt any particular attraction for garment design. I love them, but I don’t feel that I can really make that much difference in this field.
You’ve have recently been appointed marketing manager of C.P. Company. How do you feel about this promotion?
It’s a very exciting opportunity that will allow me do to what I love (marketing and communication) for a brand I love. I couldn’t ask for more!
Do you have any projects planned for the future?
Yes, I always have many projects ongoing and in the planning, sometimes too many. C.P. is an everyday challenge and there is a lot to do to make the brand great again. We are working on a customer support project, collaborations, mono brand retail… Just to mention some projects for 2017.
Beside C.P., which is taking most of my time at the moment, I also have other projects: the Massimo Osti Archive (we have just exhibited in London during Jacket Required, 25-27 January 2017), LOstudio (my marketing and communication agency) and a car sharing start-up that will be opened in February (auting.it).
One of your father’s favourite brands was Armani. What is your favourite brand and why?
My father always appreciated Armani for the innovation he brought reinventing formal wear. I don’t have a favourite brand, I’m much more attracted by the designer’s work. My favourite designer ever is Errolson Hugh, I love the way he works on shapes and garment construction. He really has an industrial design approach, but at the same time his creations are not always for me. I also love Paul Harvey and Alessandro Pungetti, what they are doing for C.P. and what they have done in the past is amazing and it’s very close to my personal taste.
Which was your father’s favourite jacket, and also yours?
My father always used to wear a C.P. Company Garment Dyed Kaki Sahariana, it was definitively his favourite outerwear piece. Myself, I don’t have a favourite piece… Believe me, it’s difficult to love only one jacket when you’ve grown up between thousands of them.
Can you tell us the three most important reasons for why your father should be remembered?
I’m not the right person to answer, but I can tell you for sure that most of the actual sportswear pieces brings elements or ideas that Massimo already explored in his 40 year career. Between them, for sure the garment dyeing has been the most influential.
Out of all the brands in which your father was involved, which was his favourite?
C.P. Company has always been the brand he felt closer to his personal taste.
Do you think that Paul Harvey has been the best designer for Stone Island after your father sold the brand? If yes, why?
Yes, definitively. I believe he has been able to bring forward research with the same approach, always looking to create something new, something that no one has done before.
Besides the military influence in your father’s works, there is also a big influence from the sea, sailors and fishermen. Speaking of the sea, you still keep Guapa, your father’s first boat, its compass being the inspiration for the Stone Island logo. How do you remember those days you spent sailing with the family?
Yes I do, Guapa is my love and my nightmare at the same time. I’ve lovely memories of summertime with my family and friends on Guapa, and my family gave me a great passion for the sea and sailing. At the same time, a wooden boat needs special care and attention, sometimes it is more demanding than a child.
Photography is one of your hobbies, what other things do you like to do in your free time?
You know a lot about me! Yes, I do love photography, sailing and travel also.
Anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank all the people who are so devoted to my father’s work. They have been the main motivation for starting the Archive and the book and I’m happy to see younger generations discovering the vintage pieces from Massimo Osti and the interest in the story that they never had the chance to witness at the time.