See, Touch, Shop
Fast times means fast fashion isn’t just about high street any more and Diesel is leading the way
THE TERRADA ART COMPLEX, located near the harbour front of the Kitashinagawa area of Tokyo, is a perfect example of the Japanese mode of business. Owned by a storage company of the same name, this warehouse facility converted into an artistic complex has grown over the last two years as a design space with retail studios, cafes and stores. It also runs a residence programme for foreign artists with its very own art award. Tonight, the gallery has been transformed. Before us are graffiti walls and displays with vintage denimwear that Gucci’s Alessandro Michele would approve. In the milieu, influencers and Internet celebrities from the East to West are posing for their own cameras and phones, uploading content to garner eyeballs. I overhear one marketer telling a colleague, “10 million viewers will be watching Diesel tonight. That’s based on conservative estimates.”
The setup for the #DieselJapan30 show tonight is intense. There’s a long runway that’s set up like an old train station, complete with billboards of vintage and new Diesel advertising campaigns from the three decades that the fashion label has been in the country. Around the corner, the drinks booth has a sign saying “Bar” in flickering blue neon lights, facing other food stores. Blade Runner much? One can almost picture Harrison Ford sitting in front of the dumpling store.
Diesel is celebrating 30 years in Japan, its biggest market in East Asia and one of its earliest partners outside of Europe after its owner Renzo Russo established the brand in 1978. The show also serves as a major statement on how it intends to evolve for the future. While the Black Gold business will continue to balance street style with high fashion quality, the main line is about to start collaborating with other brands, something that it’s never done before.
Creative director Nicola Formichetti is jumping headfirst into the sea of collaborations. The runway show this evening features three different capsule collections ‒ one with N.Hoolywood, another with Yuko Koike, an emerging artist whose work in fashion won her an award by Diesel’s holding firm Only the Brave last year, and the last with Porter, whose bags are coveted around the world.
The brand is calling these collections capsules in part because they feature two ranges that are by Diesel, specially designed by Formichetti for Japan. These include T-shirts, jeans and a denim jacket worked with leather details, and playing on the country’s colours (incidentally, also Singapore’s colours, so if you’re feeling patriotic...).