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Functional mode – WWD

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Sportswear’s origin story began with a modern approach to fashion centered on casual functionality – and menswear brands such as Italian CP Company insisted on providing the desired balance between craftsmanship, textile technology and style for the sector, which has resulted in longevity and nostalgia. , appreciation of connoisseurs for its product.

This year, CP Company is celebrating its 50th anniversary, which the brand says is in part due to its success in “five decades of innovation”. And since its debut in 1971, the brand has continued to step up its game by doing just that: creating “firsts” in the Italian sportswear category.

For CP Company, this means expertise in finding technical fabrics and dyeing techniques, which the brand has forged in Italian sportswear.

Lorenzo Osti, President of the CP Company, told WWD: “Although the technique of hand-dyeing clothes has been around for a long time, [founder] Massimo Osti and his collaborators were the first to dye clothes made from several fabrics or types of fibers, and to transform them in an industrial process.

Fifty years later, and CP Company is still a leader and innovator in the field, as the brand releases new personalized materials every season. But its ’50 Fili’ material remains a fan favorite, as it has the soft hand of cotton but doubles with impressive technical function and resistance to the strength of nylon.

And to celebrate its milestone, the brand will launch a special item each month throughout 2021, developed in-house or in collaboration with other brands, as well as community initiatives and tributes to the brand’s anniversary. “Each product will be part of the brand’s DNA and a step in the development of Italian sportswear, a whole new genre of clothing developed by the brand.

The result will be a complete wardrobe, the brand said, including clothes, memorabilia, toys, books and posters “to frame the story” of the CP company’s milestone.

Here, Osti talks to WWD about the brand’s central role in sportswear and its continued investments in research and innovation as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

WWD Studios: Tell us about CP Company. What is the story behind
the brand?

Lorenzo Osti: My father, Massimo Osti, was a graphic designer when he founded the Chester Perry brand in 1971. The name comes from Bristow, the famous British comic book about a purchasing clerk who works in the Chester-Perry building.

Driven by his know-how as a graphic designer, his first works were mainly screen-printed T-shirts. Gradually, he extended his attitude towards innovation and hybridization taking it to the next level by starting to blend classic styles of menswear with innovative fabrics to create never-before-seen amalgamations.

In 1978 he changed the name to CP Company, retaining the initials, and began a story that has become an integral part of sportswear history.

WWD Studios: How does CP Company differentiate itself in the sportswear market?

TO WORRY: We continue to do what we’ve been doing for 50 years: pioneering a connoisseur’s hybrid style that combines the functionality of vintage military, work and sportswear with intense fabric research and innovation, enhanced by the use of clothing dyeing, a technique that is part of the company’s DNA CP. This hybridization of functional men’s fashion and the innovation of Italian fabrics is at the origin of the company CP and still remains today the basis of every garment bearing the CP Company label. But each season, we keep looking for new fabrics and technical developments.

WWD Studios: Tradition and innovation are the pillars of
CP Company. What are some of the unique fabric and dye technologies that have become synonymous with the brand?

TO WORRY: Garment dyeing is the name given to a process pioneered by Massimo and coworkers in the early 1970s, in which a garment – typically made from uncolored white or raw fabric – is dyed only as a step in final fabrication, as opposed to conventional dyeing. method of manufacturing clothing from pre-dyed fabrics. If the technique of artisanal dyeing of clothes has been around for a long time, Massimo Osti and his collaborators were the first to dye clothes made from several fabrics or types of fibers, and to transform them into an industrial process.

This process – which seems almost alchemical to those who witness it firsthand – produces a chromatic depth and intensity not possible with a pre-dyed fabric, while enhancing the material characteristics of the fabric. CP Company’s latest chapter in the history of garment dyeing is the Bespoke Color Service, a personalization service launched in 2018 that allows the customer to have a custom-dyed garment in any Pantone color possible.

When it comes to fabrics, CP Company releases new personalized materials each season, but the most emblematic remains the 50 Fili: a woven cotton / nylon fabric where the cotton warp is more visible than the nylon weft. it constitutes the greatest mass and is dominant.

This is why 50 Fili has the soft feel of cotton, while retaining the technical function and resistance of nylon. The mixed composition of 50 Fili makes it perfect for enhancing the clothes dyeing process, especially on single-bath two-color processes which return iridescent effects with three-dimensional effects.

WWD Studios: CP Company celebrates its 50th anniversary. What does this mean for the brand today and
moving forward?

TO WORRY: First of all, I have to say that I am happy, proud and somewhat surprised to find myself celebrating this anniversary 50 years after my father founded the brand.

My father left the company in 1993, and since we bought the brand in 2005, my mission has been to give this brand a long and prosperous future that I am in love with. This anniversary gives me the responsibility of laying the foundations for the next 50 years of innovation and success.

WWD Studios: CP Company defines itself more as a design brand than a fashion brand. Would you like to elaborate on this?

TO WORRY: In recent years, I have conducted semiotic analyzes to map brands in their respective ecosystems. One of the classic oppositions is between brands focused on their product and brands focused on what they represent.

The CP company can be defined as a design brand because it is totally product-focused, intended as a type of design that is meant to last, not meant to follow fashion trends. Focusing on the product rather than what the brand stands for is perhaps why CP Company has been adopted by several subcultures to be part of their uniform, which has started to mean something to them. , a sense of belonging.

WWD Studios: What’s next for CP Company?

TO WORRY: There is always a lot to learn and improve in a market that changes as fast as technology. I believe the future is in the organization of a brand experience that progresses through multiple touch points. The brand needs to have as much control as possible over all channels to provide the customer with the most engaging and perfect experience possible.



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