Diesel chief Renzo Rosso has definitely overcome his lifelong dislike for perfumes — which he openly admitted to only three years ago. “I always thought that nature and our skin give us a scent, and that a fragrance would alter it,” Rosso says during an interview in April at the company’s sprawling Milan headquarters.
Rosso credits the late Patricia Turck-Paquelier, international brand president of the L’Oréal Prestige & Collection International division, who died in January, and her “open mind” for first establishing a connection between the two companies. Setting up a team exclusively dedicated to Diesel helped win over Rosso, and he has been growing a global fragrance business for his company — with best-selling scents distributed in more than 19,000 doors in 51 countries — with L’Oréal ever since.
Rosso — head of the $1.94 billion Only the Brave Srl empire, which owns the Diesel brand — was actively involved in the creation of the scents and said that to personally test them was “the only way to understand” if they would work. Now, he says, he wears his fragrances every day. “So many people tell me they like them, so I am myself a testimonial.”
More practically, Rosso, a shrewd marketing wiz, was well aware that “to diversify was a natural and obligatory step to channel Diesel’s lifestyle and enhance the brand.” As with his other licenses, though, Rosso did not want to compromise on what Diesel stands for, and says that, while “L’Oréal is the best company in the world,” he admits he was “afraid” of the new venture, given L’Oréal’s multinational scale. Diesel, founded by Rosso in 1978, formerly had a fragrance license with Germany’s Marbert Holdings that ended in 2004.
In summer 2007, Rosso swept into the market in his typical unconventional way. He put in motion a viral Internet marketing campaign to spark interest in the new fragrances, Fuel for Life for Her and Fuel for Life for Him, and reached 50 independent blog sites. As a teaser, L’Oréal created an anti–marketing campaign: a fake activist organization on the Internet urged viewers to join a movement opposing legalization of what was referred to as Fuel for Life. The signed-up members were later redirected to the Diesel Web site, which morphed into an e-commerce proposition. It was estimated at the time that L’Oréal spent nearly $20 million in the U.S. alone for ads and promotion.
L’Oréal and Diesel translated the idea of jeans into packaging. For Fuel for Life, slender oval-shaped flacons are “dressed” in covers as diverse as a fishnet ivory stocking or a tan canvas slipjacket, with a side zip, stitching and leather tab. For the launch, 20,000 additional bottles were allocated for customization on Diesel’s Web site, and customers could order from 8,000 possible combinations of pouch fabric and color, flacon caps and logos.
Last fall, Diesel launched a women’s flanker, Fuel for Life Unlimited.
Diesel’s first solo men’s fragrance, Only the Brave, was presented in January. The scent is bottled in a flacon shaped like a clenched fist, sporting a silver Diesel ring on the third and fourth fingers. The hand was inspired by Rosso’s own — particularly his RR finger tattoos.
Diesel did not provide sales for its fragrance business under the 10-year license, but, upon the launch of Fuel for Life, Rosso said the company aimed to build this business to represent 35 percent of the company’s volume.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)