En­gine re­boot

Diesel’s founder, Renzo Rosso, tells Men’s Fo­lio about his plans to “re-en­er­gise” the iconic denim la­bel. By Lance Lim

Men's Folio (Singapore) - - Contents -

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!

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