LEFT HAND - HISTORY
Left Hand was established in 1993 by Massimo Osti, the founding father of C.P. Company, Stone Island and a number of others.
Many view Left Hand as the brand that allowed Osti to fully express himself and everything he’d been working on up until that point. By 1993, Osti had accrued 20 years of design experience and had invented new and innovative materials.
His ‘garment dyeing’, has become an industry-changing technique that is utilised as a standard to this day, which at the time was both economical and design-forward, and resulted in the tone rich textural basis that many of his brands have become synonymous with.
Throughout the 80s, Osti built on garment dyeing by fusing it with stone washing and a variety of other product development techniques, introducing Tela Stella, which was reminiscent of military tarpaulin and also Raso Gommato and his pioneering military influences in a fashion setting, provided the basis for modern-day functionalism.
By 1987, Osti invented a variety of treatment methods that bolstered wool and flax with rubber to create waterproof foundations, and added sought-after levels of distress and feel to the garment’s bodies. In the same year, Osti invented ‘brushed wool’, a way of manipulating wool while keeping it breathable and insulating. Again, like garment dyeing, the practice is now an industry standard.
By the time Osti founded Left Hand, he had the entire design world looking to him for advice and inspiration. Osti launched Left Hand with the Allegri Company, a design agency he had previously worked with during the creation of Tela Stella and Raso Gommato.
Left Hand’s first 1993 collection debuted two new materials, the first was Micro, a nylon that was produced by using an advanced pressing technique traditionally used in paper manufacturing. It resulted in a thin microfibre layer that maintained breathability and durability despite being paper-thin.
The second material was Thermojoint, a lightweight cotton with a PVC base that resulted in a highly durable, 100% waterproof and nuclear radiation-resistant material. Osti’s developments around this time transcended the sportswear ideas he set out with and brought the idea of clothing as protection to the forefront.
Aside from revolutionary materials, Left Hand’s design aesthetic utilised more tonal branding, creating a place for the designs to stand out on their own. Design details included angled velcro phone pockets, fold away hoods, unique zip placement and hidden pockets that defined Left Hand’s output.
In 2020 Left Hand was acquired by Left Hand Studio Limited, along with another of Osti's original brands, ST95.
Left Hand has been re-launched in 2022 with a collection under the creative helm of Christopher Ræburn and his award-winning RÆBURN Lab in East London.
Ræburn is renowned for his forward-thinking and sustainable approach to fashion, making him the perfect designer for the baton to be passed on to, continuing the late designer’s interests in military technology, aesthetics, and experimental fabrics.
For two years running (2020 and 2021), Ræburn’s self-titled brand has been awarded ‘Brand of the Year’ in Draper’s Sustainable Fashion Awards 2021, setting a precedent for an innovative future with Left Hand.
Left Hand’s new beginnings will see the brand continue to produce understated and design-focused pieces of outerwear and apparel that subvert outrageous branding and allow the strengths of good design, the use of sustainable fabrics and manufacturing processes to speak for themselves.