Massimo Osti Studio | A Look Into The Legacy

In conversation with Lorenzo Osti on the exciting addition to menswear

Written by

Maria Kyriakos

Photographed by

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A legacy is historical, it’s a foundation for archive and reference, as well as highlighting a thoughtful stamp in time. And while honoring a legacy, it is not just about looking to the past and its celebrated moments, but perhaps more importantly looking to its future. The innovation and the creation of something that captures both past and future quintessentially is an integral part of the ethos that C.P. Company group and Lorenzo Osti is striving for, with the launch of their new brand, Massimo Osti Studio. The nostalgia of commemorative brands is not what this premium label is about– it's the opposite. With intentions to go beyond the typical, Massimo Osti Studio is its own sector with an identity rooted not only in honoring the late Massimo Osti himself, but what he also believed in as a designer. 

A penchant for exploring the unknown and constantly encountering a renaissance for the new, Osti’s children reflect that directly in their father’s eponymous label. Clothing will be released in different "chapters" throughout the year, the first, Chapter 0: Synopsis exhibited at Paris Men's Fashion Week. The project is focused on fabric research and industrial processes, exuding an experimental likeness that strives to drive design and functionality forward. The silhouettes and specified techniques are indicative of the reputation Osti had garnered, all while debuting a refreshing twist that pushes the famed foundation to a deeper, redefined depth.

As of today, Chapter 01: Alcantara is available on the Massimo Osti Studio website. FLAUNT caught up with president of the label and son to Massimo Osti, Lorenzo Osti, to discuss the beauty behind the details. 

What was the catalyst and inspiration for creating Massimo Osti Studio?

Me and my sister Agata have dedicated a good part of our lives to honoring the legacy of our father and transmitting it to new generations. We opened the Massimo Osti Archive and, together with my mother, wrote the most comprehensive book on his work and inventions. But recently, I realized that somehow, we were missing the point. 

Massimo Osti was always driven by the willingness to experiment and innovate, to create something that nobody had before. For this reason, we cannot genuinely honor his spirit by just looking into the past, by looking at what he already did. The best way to do it is to look to the future and experiment in the same way he did. This is the most important reason leading us to the conception and launch of Massimo Osti Studio.

How would you describe Massimo Osti Studio’s identity?

Experimental, first of all. Massimo Osti is no longer here, but his innovative spirit, his method, and his design principles can continue to push the boundaries of this industry, thanks not to one single person, but in the form of a Studio, a platform for shared knowledge, where the union of individual inputs at different levels can lead to innovative outputs. 

Massimo Osti Studio refuses any nostalgic journey and instead aims to be as experimental and brave as Massimo Osti was throughout his career, to create garments able to stand the test of time and represent contemporaneity.

Can you tell us about Chapter 0: Synopsis? How does it represent the manifesto of Massimo Osti Studio?

Chapter 0: Synopsis is a manifesto because it shows the direction of the brand and the potential of Massimo Osti Studio's R&D lab, allowing the visitor to closely examine and touch the products while perceiving all the behind-the-scenes work that brought these products to life. 

The fabric innovations showcased by MOS in Paris, which will be expanded into wider merchandise and released in drops throughout 2024, have been presented alongside Massimo Osti's latest creations, showcased in the Archival part of the exhibition, to allow visitors to perceive the consistency and, at the same time, the strong evolution between Massimo Osti's early '00s research and today's Studio possibilities.

In what ways do you see your father’s legacy translated through the values and design aesthetics of Massimo Osti Studio? What lessons in life and work have you inherited from him that you apply to this brand?

This is a very intimate question, almost impossible to cover due to the vastness of his legacy. If I had to pick one or two aspects, it would definitely be the quest for what does not yet exist. We thought the best tribute to his work would be to pick up where he left off, creating something not with the purpose of remembrance but with the purpose of moving his work forward. And I will always remember his words: "We're Osti-nati" ("born-Osti"), which means stubborn in Italian: never take "it's not possible" as an answer!

Massimo Osti Studio emphasizes fabric research, innovation, and inspiration from industrialization and craftsmanship. How do these focuses impact the creative and production process of each garment or chapter? When considering a new piece, how do you anticipate it to be worn or lived in?

Everything starts with a fabric innovation, which can revolve around the fabrication of the fabric itself, its treatment, or its construction. As a product-focused brand, we use design to emphasize the fabric's characteristics and potential rather than creating a specific "look." This approach is consistent with my father's work and has the great advantage of leaving the garment open for interpretation: you can relate to it and interpret it the way you feel. It's an open work, and that's why many of Massimo Osti's creations became part of subcultures, and people still have emotional attachments to them.

What qualities should a garment have for you to consider it a perfect piece of menswear?

My father gave an answer to the question "What is elegance?" that I think fits very well: The perfect garment is the one that makes you feel at ease with yourself. And usually, it's about comfort and functionality. And it should age much more slowly than you actually do.

Massimo Osti Studio will release clothing through a series of chapters to tell a story. What is the significance of releasing your clothing in this way? How does storytelling influence you and the brand?

Massimo Osti Studio is born to experiment, which doesn't align well with regular fashion seasonality. Some innovations are quick (you have to release them before someone else gets there), while others need years of experimentation and refining. We cannot commit to two collections per year. We experiment, and when we believe we've found something interesting and made it work, we release it. Storytelling, in our case, is crucial but not for literally "telling a story" but rather to get people close to the product, to understand all the work and value that lies within it. And this is particularly challenging considering that we mainly sell online.

How do you see Massimo Osti Studio contributing to the longevity and future of menswear?

I think the main contribution is about pushing the boundaries and raising the level of research in the industry. Menswear doesn't evolve much around design innovation but rather around materiality and functionality. And it should also focus on sustainability. We can help keep the competition exciting.

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C.P. Company, Massimo Osti Studio, Fashion, Maria Kyriakos