Diesel’s founder, Renzo Rosso, tells Men’s Folio about his plans to “re-energise” the iconic denim label. By Lance Lim
Diesel’s founder, Renzo Rosso, tells Men’s Folio about his plans to “reenergise” the label
Diesel is returning to Singapore, what’s different this time?
Many things are different, trust me! Two years ago, we started a process called “Diesel Reboot” to correctly re- energise and re- modernise the brand which, after over 35 years, was a bit tired. I found the best partner in crime in Nicola Formichetti, “a young Renzo”, as I always laugh about it, a crazy visionary with the modernity of today. He started working on new, 100 per cent Diesel DNA products, on the right marketing campaigns. Together with him, came also a new global CEO of the brand, Alessandro Bogliolo, who has been working (amongst other things) on the most appropriate distribution for the brand worldwide, selecting the best wholesale partners, and redesigning our mono- brand stores worldwide with Japanese collective Wonderwall.
There’s no shortage of luxury denim brands in the market, where does Diesel stand in this competitive landscape?
Since the arrival of Nicola, we focused on a general upgrade of the whole product offering and of the brand as a whole. Now we definitely sit in the high- range segment, being the real “alternative to luxury”, being able to rely on 38 years of history, heritage, and know- how.
The words “luxury” and “premium” gets tossed around quite liberally these days, what is your take on luxury?
I personally believe there are only very few, true luxury brands in the world. Then, there are many other brands that consider themselves luxury, but in reality, they are just very expensive. I like to think that we (OTB Group) represent a sort of alternative luxury that is more democratic, more modern, more open, and younger.
The brand has a strong following for decades. Has the demography of Diesel’s target market changed over the years?
I don’t think age targets exist anymore; it’s all in the mind-set and in the lifestyle that people lead. For Diesel, this is fundamental and it has very much always been the case.
What can Diesel fans expect from the brand reboot?
Lots of incredible signature pieces ( in denim, leather or military styles) and a new store design, which already premiered in the new Diesel store on Madison Avenue in New York that is more about establishing the right space to create desire, and a dream environment for our consumers.
Will there be a new face of the brand for the Asian market?
I want cool people all over the world to wear Diesel because they love the brand. Celebrities are great, but they need to really dig into the brand to be true ambassadors of it.
Social media has become a big, possibly essential, part of the fashion industry. How does this affect your marketing strategy?
Good marketing has to keep pace with (and possibly anticipate) any cultural change in order to be able to speak to consumers. Social media platforms are great means of communication, and they are as influential as any other marketing tool to keep the brand top of mind and relevant.
Will Diesel be collaborating with the other labels under the OTB umbrella (Maison Margiela, Marni, and Viktor & Rolf)?
It would be cool, but I fear people, the industry, would think its too easy! But Diesel is working on new, surprising collaborations, so stay tuned!