C.P. COMPANY

OUR STORY

CHESTER
PERRY

CHESTER PERRY

In 1971 Massimo Osti founds Chester Perry brand. The name is that of the factory where Bristow, the hero of Frank Dickens’ strip, works.

Massimo, working from his experience as a graphic designer, immediately created a distinctive style of communicating for his company: the toy car, the posters with their pop graphics and other props to give as gifts to shop owners.

To print t-shirts, jackets and shorts Massimo employs methods that at the time are only usually used for paper: he makes abundant use of the photocopier, placed print screenprinting and the four colour process.

He also start experiments with the garment dyeing method.

CHESTER PERRY

THE INVENTION
OF GARMENT DYEING

THE INVENTIONOF GARMENT DYEING

Garment dyeing is the name given to a process pioneered by Massimo Osti and his collaborators for C.P. Company in the early 1970s in which a garment - usually made from white or raw un-coloured fabric - is only dyed as a final manufacturing step, subsequent to being fully-fashioned, as opposed to the conventional method of manufacturing garments from pre-dyed fabrics.

While the technique of garment dyeing has long existed, Massimo Osti and his collaborators were the first to attempt the technique with garments made from 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.

FROM
CHESTER
PERRY TO
C.P. COMPANY

In 1978 the English clothing brands Chester Barry and Fred Perry simultaneously take legal action against the Bolognese designer for, respectively, the use of their first name and surname. Massimo then decides to evolve Chester Perry into C.P. Company.

This drier, more mature name inaugurated 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.

For more than 45 years the brand has continued to pioneer its signature hybridization of archival military, work and sportswear models, combining them with intensely researched, cutting-edge, Italian fabric innovation.

FROM CHESTER PERRY TO C.P. COMPANY
FROM CHESTER PERRY TO C.P. COMPANY

1979

In 1979 C.P. Company transforms the nylon down jacket of alpinists into an urban jacket. The down jacket, will become an irreplaceable alternative to the woollen overcoat which, up until the 70s, had been the dominant style of winter jacket worn in Italian cities.

C.P. Company’s point of departure for the transformation is the substitution of nylon, from which these jackets were always made, with a more urban fabric: a gabardine, extremely light and soft, which then undergoes a treatment to make it resistant to water, while nevertheless allowing it to maintain the tactile characteristics of cotton. The filling is a cotton padding specially developed by Bayer for the athletic sector.

The success of this innovation is such that near the company’s warehouse in Crevalcore (Bologna), an inflatable geodesic dome, strange sign of modernity in the countryside of Emilia, is rapidly set up to house the thousands of voluminous jackets waiting to be shipped. Each season these jackets evolve and are transformed, with new fabrics and models. Real goose down, very expensive at the time, subsequently replaces the cotton padding. The company expands and its turn over grows vertiginously. The urban down jacket becomes a constant presence in C.P. Company collections and in the 90s will become a “Continuative Garment”, the special series of pieces which have formed the brand’s identity.

DEERSKIN DOWN JACKET

SYNTHETIC FIBRES
ARE GARMENT DYED
FOR THE FIRST TIME

SYNTHETIC FIBRES ARE GARMENT DYED FOR THE FIRST TIME

DUTCH POLICE
JACKET

A/W 1982 collection is an important moment in the history of C.P. Company. Drawing inspiration from an old Dutch Motorcycle Police uniform, today lost, Massimo Osti creates a series of modular jackets with removable sleeves and collars in material combinations of knitwear, oiled canvas, leather and suede, and satin linings in gaudy colours. It is a novel idea and the press is particularly taken by it.

The star attraction of the collection is a special poplin treated in such a way as to make it waterproof, but only on the inside, so that its outer face maintains the shiny natural appearance so characteristic of cotton. To this C.P. Company adds calfskin, only in brown, goatskin, only in green, sheepskin, only in red, because “...every leather has its own particular colour which gives the best results.”

From a business perspective the success of the collection is a turning point, as Carlo Grazia remembers: “We launched the collection with a large party and changed a good part of our client list. We went from 350 to 180 stockists but sales grew nonetheless, wrong footing all our competitors.”

DOUBLE-DYED
REVERSIBLE
JACKET

Jacket with retractable hood. Outer: waterproofed cotton. Inner: tartan pattern wool. The buttons are inspired by american college rings.

DOUBLE-DYED REVERSIBLE JACKET

1986

RUBBER WOOL,
RUBBER FLAX

RUBBER WOOL, RUBBER FLAX

In 1986 C.P. Company started a research to give the wool a wind and waterproof function while maintaing its breathability.

To obtain the desired result ITS Artea develops, after various attempts, a porous rubber coating which can be seen on the inside of the garments.

In 1987 the impulse towards experimentation gives life to two new trademarked materials: Rubber Flax and Rubber Wool. Inspired by traditional English sports clothing, these fabrics are developed to confer new qualities of technical performance to these noble materials, allowing them, through coatings of natural rubber, new uses in the sportswear sector. The rubber coating leaves unaltered the natural qualities of the yarns but guarantees the materials, normally quite delicate, a greater degree of resistance to the atmosphere and renders them indeformable through use.

1987

EXPLORER JACKET

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. Osti 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.

EXPLORER JACKET

GOGGLE JACKET

Following further research into protective hoods used by the army, C.P. Company creates several prototypes over the course of 1987. Anti-gas goods, a new inspiration, give him the idea of moving the lenses from the collar to the hood itself. The forms of this new version of the goggle jacket adopt the multifunctionality of the Swiss field jackets whose intelligent pockets can perform numerous tasks. Another lens is added to the sleeve to allow the wearer to see his watch.

This is the version which C.P. Company uses 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 him to carry a full range of necessities, from identification papers, to a canteen and knife, to victuals and maps.

GOGGLE JACKET
JEAN-PAUL SARTRE COAT
JEAN-PAUL SARTRE COAT

The idea for a new model comes from research within the internal archive, or from a study of military uniforms, or even from the pages of a randomly opened book or magazine. Massimo Osti casually comes across a photo of Jean-Paul Sartre by Henri Cartier-Bresson and is impressed by the sober but informal elegance of the philosopher’s coat. He copies its visible particularities, then transforms it: his maniacal attention to details allows him to create a “style”.

This coat model, in reality very simple, has some formal characteristics which, even when reworked in following years, allow it to maintain a strong identity of its own. Through various different technical interventions (rubber coating, insulation padding, emery brushing of the cotton, net lining etc.) C.P. Company adds functions to the form. The first J.P. Sartre coats are made from sheepskin with leather finish or from cotton with rubber wool lining. A second version in leather has contrast finishes in cotton and a shawl collar as in the photo of the original. Inside it has a quilted padded lining backed with netting. A third version replicates the original, without the yoke, but with a fur collar which is removable thanks to leather loops and buttons.

URBAN
PROTECTION

URBAN PROTECTION

1998

LIFE PARKA

C.P. Company new head designer Moreno Ferrari’s dystopian Urban Protection line begins with a parka constructed from Dynafil TS-70, a high performance nylon which is waterproof, tearproof and oilproof. The jacket comes with its own ear protectors. C.P. Company A/W 1998-99

1999

METROPOLIS
PARKA

The Metropolis takes the idea of the original Mille Miglia goggle jacket, a protective jacket for racers of open top vintage cars on public roads, both paved and unpaved, and transfers it to the contemporary urban environment where the presence of an integrated anti-smog mask, laptop pockets and a waterproof, tearproof and oilproof fabric are totally natural. C.P. Company A/W 1999-00

EXPLORER JACKET

2001

VULCANISED RUBBER GOGGLE JACKET

C.P. Company ceased production of the Goggle Jacket for a short period of time at the end of the Nineties, but new C.P. Company head designer Alessandro Pungetti brought it back in 2001. This special edition was made out of bonded matte finish nylon/polyester fabric, and had a very special feature: the use of vulcanised rubber for the hood and arm pieces. The jacket was featured on the cover of the “Casuals” book, by Phil Thornton.

COTTON-HEMP
EXPLORER
PARKA

COTTON-HEMP EXPLORER PARKA

This heavy winter coat remixes two C.P. Company icons, the Norge Parka and the Explorer Jacket. Dubbed the “Arctic Explorer”, this classic parka is crafted from a resin coated 50-50 hemp/cotton mix. It features a detachable real rabbit fur trimmed hood and an isolating polyester padding.

FROSTED NYLON DOWN GOGGLE JACKET

Based on the shorter lenght, biker-style Goggle Jacket introduced by C.P. Company during the 2000s. Garment dyed on a Japanese process double frosted nylon, down filled. The dyeing process creates the light/dark effect on the stitching and detailed parts, making every jacket unique.

GORE-TEX IS GARMENT DYED
FOR THE FIRST TIME

Hooded blouson with taped seams constructed entirely from 3-layer fabric with traditional linen outer face developed exclusively for C.P. Company by Gore-Tex under the supervision of Alessandro Pungetti. This is the first time in history that the waterproof membrane has been successfully garment dyed.

GORE-TEX IS GARMENT DYED FOR THE FIRST TIME

2006

GARMENT DYED POLYESTER
FIELD JACKET

C.P. Company applies the garment dyeing process to polyesters, the most difficult and unpredictable fiber to dye since it only absorbs colour at 140° C.

HIGH TENACITY NYLON
GOGGLE JACKET

An ultra light, but at the same time incredibly strong fabric, HT nylon has been used in the past to produce the likes of sails, tents and safety belts. Then C.P. Company made it the perfect fabric to build wear and tear-resistant outerwear.

TINTO TERRA
GOGGLE JACKET

TINTO TERRA GOGGLE JACKET

Dyed using the Tinto Terra process, which utilises natural pigments from soil and earth, for a slight iridescent effect.

The finished garment retains a rich look and a soft, substantial tactile feel that appropriately reflects C.P. Company's visual identity throughout its history.

2008

NEW SHIELD JACKET

Decades after the first Goggle Jacket, a new collaboration between C.P. Company and italian brand Baruffaldi, leader in the moto-goggle market since the Thirties. This short jacket features detachable adjustable technical sunglasses attached to the hood. The sunglasses sport an adjustable elastic head band and optional temples. The wrist watchviewer lens is a nod to the original Goggle Jacket design.

500 MIGLIA
BLOUSON

The original Goggle Jacket is a three-pocket, thigh-long field coat. This one sports the same Goggle hood, but is much shorter (cut at the waist) and has a totally different pocket design.

1000M GOGGLE JACKET

1000M GOGGLE JACKET BY AITOR THROUP

To celebrate the Goggle jacket used in 1989 throughout the iconic Mille Miglia race, C.P. Company invited argentinian designer Aitor Throup to design a unique version of the Goggle Jacket "with the aim of creating a piece which is even further informed by its driving concept than the original".

The overall structure and balance of the jacket has been designed around a human form in the driving position. Excess volume is built into the back in order to maximise driving comfort, and allowing the lower part of the jacket to morph from a standard standing position into a more complex driving position.

A detachable padded lining and gloves offer further protection against cold and wet conditions. Further functional details include a detachable pouch which could be used as a case for tech gadgets. The fabric is a Tinto Terra-dyed, 3-layer Gore-Tex Performance Shell with a waterproof membrane. Every seam is finished with Gore-Seam waterproof thermo-taping.

NYLON-POLYESTER SUBLIMATED PRINT TRENCH COAT

This traditionally-shaped trench coat has been garament dyed a mid-grey colour. The finished piece is subjected to a sublimation print, a heat transfer printing process used exclusively for polyester fabrics. C.P. Company A/W 2010-11.

NYLON-POLYESTER SUBLIMATED PRINT TRENCH COAT

2014

MICRO KEI GOGGLE BLOUSON

Referencing Osti’s 1982 Dutch Police jacket design, the C.P. Company design team composed of Alessandro Pungetti and Paul Harvey constructed this jacket from a Japanese polyester whose thousansds of loosely spun polyester micro fibers swell up when dump naturally creating a waterproof barrier. Garment dyeing the fabric further enhances this characteristics. C.P. Company A/W 2014-15

NYLON, SHETLAND AND DOWN GOGGLE JACKET

An extremely technically challenging piece of C.P. Company garment dyeing: the main fabric is an original scottish shetland prepared for over dyeing by Abraham Moon exclusively for C.P. Company. The hood and yoke are a japanese nylon treated to look and feel like cotton. The lining is a down proof nylon ciré. All three shrink in different ways during garment dyeing and the drying process is immensely delicate but the harmony of colours achieved is otherwise impossible to achieve.
C.P. Company A/W 2014-15

2017

COMPONENT DYED EXPLORER ANORAK

A further refinement of the brand’s signature garment dyeing techinque, this anorak has been Component Dyed: the outer layer of the jacket, made from an ultralight version (80grms/sqm) of 50 fili, has been garment dyed before being attached to a membrane and inner layer.

The result is a fully waterproof and windproof 3-layer hardshell jacket with a softness and easy wearability unparalleled on the market today. C.P. Company S/S 2017

THE INVENTION OF GARMENT DYEING