Luxe.CO Exclusive | Stone Island vs. Patagonia: How Do These Two Major “Hardcore” Outdoor Brands Approach the Chinese Market?

8月 30, 2023

Stone Island and Patagonia, both outdoor clothing brands, are highly regarded among outdoor enthusiasts for their high performance and avant-garde designs. Over the past year, both brands have shown strong activity in the Chinese market.

Founded by the Italian “father of functional clothing,” Massimo Osti, Stone Island continues to lead in researching and developing experimental fabrics. Since its acquisition by the Moncler Group, their exploration of fabric technology has deepened. On the other hand, Patagonia, based in the United States, has ingrained sustainability at its core since its inception. Founder Yvon Chouinard dedicated his life to environmental conservation and even announced last year that he would donate the company’s equity to charity, making the Earth its sole shareholder.

Based on data collected from Luxe.CO Tong, the world’s first real-time dynamic platform for fashion business under Luxe.CO, this article will compare the latest developments of Stone Island and Patagonia in the Chinese market from July 2022 to August 2023. It will delve into their developmental histories, innovative technologies, product structures, and pricing ranges, exploring how these two outdoor sports brands shape their unique differentiating advantages.

Article Overview:

  • How do the two brands strategize the Chinese market? (Entry time and locations in mainland China; Current store layout in the Chinese market)
  • What were the market dynamics of both brands in China from July 2022 to August 2023? (Number and distribution of new store openings; Types and characteristics of marketing dynamics)
  • Brand Overview (Founders, ownership structure, iconic products, technological innovations, core product categories, and pricing ranges)

Note: This article is originally written in Mandarin and is available for download exclusively to Luxe.CO subscribed members. The following images are some examples of what you will get in the report.

How do the two brands strategize the Chinese market?

Entry time and locations in mainland China

  • Stone Island: Entered in April 2019 with a store in Shanghai Ruiou Department Store.
  • Patagonia: Entered in September 2012 with a store in Beijing Wukesong Zhuo Exhibition Mall (now closed).

Current total number of stores in the Chinese market

Store layout in the Chinese market

Stone Island store in Beijing Sanlitun Taikoo Li (left); Stone Island store in Chengdu SKP-S (right).


Patagonia store in Nanjing Jinling Style (left); Patagonia store in Hangzhou Tower (right).

Market dynamics of both brands in China from July 2022 to August 2023

——New store openings

——New product and marketing dynamics

Based on Luxe. CO Tong’s date, from July 2022 to August 2023, Stone Island had the most new product releases, accounting for 59%. Following that were collaborations (22%) and store openings (11%).

For Patagonia, community operations were the most frequent, constituting 78%, followed by store openings and new product releases, both at 7%.

In the past year, Stone Island introduced several new product series, including the ‘023 ‘024 Autumn-Winter STELLINA series, ‘023 ‘024 Autumn-Winter Junior series, the 2023 Spring-Summer Hand Sprayed series, and AW ‘022 ‘023 Autumn-Winter Ghost series.

In terms of collaborations, Stone Island partnered with the American sportswear brand New Balance for multiple items, including the MSRCX and 574 Legacy sneakers, as well as the M01NA Football Kit jersey collection and the Furon V7 soccer shoes.

Stone Island × New Balance 574 Legacy sneakers (left); Stone Island × New Balance M01NA Football Kit jersey collection and Furon V7 soccer shoes (right).

Patagonia further diversified its community activities, covering outdoor sports like surfing, rock climbing, hiking, and fly fishing. They also deeply integrated environmental initiatives. For instance, they held a 2-day, 2-night surfing camp in Zhujiajian, Zhoushan; organized a sustainable rock climbing photography exhibition on Cang Jing Ge Street in Chengdu; offered hole-repairing handcraft classes in Sanlitun, Beijing; and organized mountain clean-up hikes in Beijing’s Dajue Temple.

Brand Overview

Establishment time and location

  • Stone Island: Established in 1982, Italy.
  • Patagonia: Established in 1973, USA.


  • Stone Island: Massimo Osti from Italy, earned a degree in commercial graphic design through night school. He co-founded his own clothing brand and company, C.P. Company (formerly Chester Perry), in 1971. In 1982, Massimo Osti developed a dual-sided waterproof fabric called “Tela Stella,” leading to the creation of the independent clothing line Stone Island. He accumulated extensive research in fibers, textiles, and dyeing techniques, earning him the title of “father of functional clothing.”

  • Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard from the USA, started climbing at 14 and co-founded Chouinard Equipment at 19, providing climbing gear. He later improved pitons into chocks, significantly reducing climbing’s impact on rock faces. In the 1970s, Chouinard Equipment became the largest climbing hardware supplier in the US and expanded into clothing. His experience summiting Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia left a lasting impression, inspiring the name Patagonia for his clothing business. Yvon Chouinard lives frugally and is dedicated to environmental causes, advocating using business to save the planet.

Ownership structure

  • Stone Island: Acquired by Italian businessman Carlo Rivertti’s Sportswear Company in 1993; founder Massimo Osti left the brand. In early 2022, the brand was acquired by Italian luxury brand Moncler.
  • Patagonia: In September 2022, Yvon Chouinard and his family transferred company ownership to two new entities: the trust fund Patagonia Purpose Trust and the nonprofit organization the Holdfast Collective. All company income is used for Earth protection. Patagonia continues to operate as a private company.

Signature product features

  • Stone Island: Metal Nylon series, made from Stone Island’s developed triple-twisted nylon yarn. Different colored weft and warp yarns create a unique metallic texture and shine. The clothing, fabric accessories, and zippers undergo Stone Island’s distinct garment dyeing or double-dyeing process, resulting in varying gradients of color depth. The interior often features resin coating for wind and rain resistance.

  • Patagonia: Snap-T and Retro-X fleece series, utilizing Patagonia’s developed Synchilla fleece fabric, which is lighter and thinner than the wool and down traditionally used in climbing apparel. Through continuous upgrades and iterations, bright colors were introduced for the first time in outdoor clothing, along with the use of recycled polyester fiber materials.

Keywords of Technological Innovation

  • Stone Island: Functional fashion, experimental fabrics.

  • Patagonia: Outdoor practicality, sustainable fabrics.

Core Product Categories and Pricing Ranges

| Image Credit: Created by Luxe.CO, official websites, and official Weibo accounts of both brands.

| Editor: Zhu Ruoyu