Lorenzo Osti, president, C.P. Company, and son of the brand’s founder, Massimo, speaks about the recent exhibition "C.P. Company Cinquanta", held at Base, Milan, during Milan Menswear Fashion Week celebrating the brand’s 50th anniversary.
We have thought for long about how to speak about this brand’s 50 years of life. This exhibition shows an important part of C.P. Company, but it’s only a part, and it’s dedicated to the product, to fabric innovation, treatments and silhouettes that my father and the designers who came after him have focused upon.
C.P. Company is obviously also something else than product. In fact, it also has a strong capacity to tune in with people, with subcultures and communities. In fact, also today it continues dialogizing with its consumers, always in different ways.
Which of these collaboration stroke you most?
Obviously I wanted each of them to happen, though I am especially tied to the first one and the last one. The first one is a relatively small collaboration with the Lucio Dalla Foundation. It was done in Bologna, the city where I was born. I have very beautiful memories of Lucio Dalla [editor’s note: A pop Italian songwriter and singer from Bologna] and of his friendship with my mother and my father, therefore it touched me personally.
About 80 pieces, a relatively small selection compared with our 30,000-piece archive, but we wanted to give enough space and relevance to these items. For this, our selection is small but very dense. That’s also why we decided to show the pieces framed in particular Plexiglas visualizing elements, the same ones that my father had produced in 1988 for an exhibition that had been held in Berlin at Reichstag.
By innovative capacity. Each piece that is part of this exhibition is here because at that time it didn’t exist yet. At that time there was practically almost only my father doing innovation. What the brand did was truly out of the ordinary at that time.
What are the aspects that have characterized the brand throughout these 50 years, and what will be the ones that will characterize its future?
On the one side the aspects that define this brand’s identity is the constant focus on textile innovation in terms of new materials, treatments and silhouettes and, on the other, its ability to get in touch with different consumer types and lifestyles.
Is there an eco-friendly or sustainable aspect we can pick from the history of this brand or in its future evolution?
This is a very important theme. For this, I take it very seriously. There has always been a great attention on this aspect. In this exhibition there is a focus on a project my father did in 1990 with the aim to save the Amazon and its populations from deforestation. And there is also another previous initiative as he sponsored a racing of electric cars between the 1980s or 1990s, as he strongly believed in sustainable mobility.
What we have been doing in the last years is, first, substituting two of our main fabrics with similar materials but in completely recycled versions. As we are going to reach a production of about one million items per season, that means two million of items per year using recycled fabrics, already means an important reduction.
Two years ago we have also started taking a path analyzing our eco-friendly footprint and optimizing it. We have just finished the first step of analysis of all of our direct entities and now an auditing of all of our foreign suppliers has just started. Therefore, I don’t like to speak about it as I feel we haven’t done enough, but we are doing our best.