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HIGH TECHNOLOGY IN TWENTY YEARS OF FABRICS FROM C.P. COMPANY
From the first Goggle Jacket produced for the Mille Miglia automobile endurance race to the special edition created in collaboration with the designer Aitor Throup to celebrate its twentieth anniversary; and along the way hundreds of garments that relate an account of innovative materials, special processes and the quest for shapes.
The C.P. Company clothing brand was established in 1975. Its stylists draw their inspiration from traditional military uniforms and work attire. This activity, which has remained constant over time, has filled the archives of C.P. Company with thousands of research garments that date from the end of the last century to today: an indispensable legacy that is the foundation of most of the company’s expertise. This heritage is currently being celebrated at the College of Art in London with the launch of the "Goggle Jacket, Past and Future" exhibition, which commemorates 20 years of producing the iconic C.P. Company garment, the hooded jacket with built-in goggles and a transparent panel on the left wrist that allows the wearer to keep an eye on his stopwatch.
The research into historical roots over the years has been matched with incessant technological study applied to fabrics and working processes, with the result that these days C.P. Company has an experimental dyeing laboratory. This department is capable of uniting cutting-edge technology, expertise and human ingenuity. It possesses an archive of 60,000 dye formulae and it is able to experiment and produce rubberizing and spreading treatments and washes, as well as sophisticated double-dyeing operations using any kind of raw material. In addition, C.P. Company is specialized in the finished-garment dyeing technique: once made, the garments are dyed and undergo further treatments to obtain the desired appearance.
Standing out from the latest innovations is the combination of natural and manmade fibres, with linen-nylon and cotton-nylon blends. Or the pairing of different fibres in the same garment, such as in cotton knitwear with details in viscose, and reversible sweatshirts: cotton inside and shiny viscose on the outside.
The company is based in Ravarino, in the province of Modena. It is owned by the entrepreneur Carlo Rivetti, president of Sportswear Company, the company that manages the C.P. Company and Stone Island brands. The group markets its products throughout the world and has direct distributors in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, and Korea. The leading foreign market is Germany, which together with Italy generates 50% of the turnover. For the last three years, the company has been participating in the Milan Men’s Fashion Week with a C.P. Company catwalk show. This policy has proved decisive in increasing sales in the United States, especially in New York, where the company has an arrangement with Barneys department store.Recently, C.P. Company has also made forays into mobile shopping: the format that allows cell phones to be used for buying clothes and accessories. Like many other big names in the sector, the company has delegated the portal Yoox.com, the first online store for clothing, accessories and designer objects to offer a "mobile e-commerce" service. The figures would suggest this is a winning formula: in 2008 Yoox.com invoiced 132 million euro, 48% more than in 2007; while in 2009 sales have increased a further 40%.