Founded in Bologna, Italy, by the legendary Massimo Osti back in 1971, C.P. Company is one of fashion's most famous brands. The Italian sportswear brand, originally named Chester Perry, was renamed in 1978, and so began one of the most explosive and influential bursts of creativity in the history of modern Italian fashion and would quickly make C.P. Company the essential brand of choice for Italian intellectuals and artists. In 1982, Osti founded another iconic sportswear brand - Stone Island, thus earning the moniker "Godfather of Sportswear".
C.P. Company immediately found favour thanks to its subtle non-conformist interpretation of functional wardrobe classics. Taking inspiration from archival military, workwear and sportswear designs, the brand has continued to marry those designs with intensely researched, cutting-edge, Italian fabric innovation. Through this fabric innovation and the use of garment dyeing, a technique C.P. Company was the first in the world to develop in the mid 70s, in which fully finished garments made from multiple fabric and fiber are dyed as the final step, Osti had created a brand that was to shape contemporary sportswear. While the technique of garment dyeing has long existed, Massimo Osti was the first to attempt the technique with multiple different fabric or fiber types. This process - which appears almost alchemical for those who witness it first hand – produces a chromatic depth and intensity impossible to achieve with pre-dyed fabric, as well as enhancing the material characteristics of the fabric.
In 1987, Massimo Osti had in his clothing archive a protective hood worn by the Japanese Civil Defence, similar to a balaclava with a zip on the front and two lenses sewn into the fabric at eye level. He grew excited about the idea of making a jacket with lenses sewn into the fabric. The problem of preserving the fabric’s integrity around the perimeter of the glass lenses was resolved thanks to a frame specifically created by the Italian company Baruffaldi, a world leader in the sports optics field. The first prototype was a four-pocket field jacket, Saharian-style, which features lenses sewn into an extended collar which later became know as the Explorer Jacket.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Osti continued his research into protective hoods used by the army. One year later, C.P. Company creates several prototypes. Anti-gas goods, a new inspiration, gave him the idea of moving the lenses from the collar to the hood itself. This idea led to arguably the most iconic garment in men's contemporary sportswear - The Goggle Jacket.
C.P. Company used it to sponsor the 1988 edition of the Mille Miglia car race because it best corresponds with his vision of the perfect jacket to wear on any adventure. It protects the wearer from rain and mud and its system of pockets allows them to carry a full range of necessities, from identification papers, to a canteen and knife, to maps. Another lens is added to the sleeve to allow the wearer to see his watch.
The continuous tension between heritage and innovation is at the core of the brand's identity. This results in a continuous attempt to combine both elements in the same garment at the same time. The brands use of sourcing materials from every corner of the world and continuously experimenting with new manufacturing techniques has allowed them to produce over 40,000 garments in their 40 year history. C.P. Company is easy to-to-wear, giving the the wearer the feeling like they've always owed the garment, but at the same time, offering distinctiveness in its details, combing tradition, innovation and performance.
Shop the C.P. Company collection here at Eastwood Ave. Menswear.