For his inaugural collection as creative director, women’s, of Diesel Black Gold, Andreas Melbostad employed numerous themes reminiscent of his days as the designer of Phi, bringing forth lots of leather and a penchant for asymmetry and metallic embellishment.
There was a new twist in his pre-fall effort as well, one that had more to do with his new home — denim — than his personal heritage.
“I’d done very little denim previously,” the Norwegian-born designer told WWD, “but coming to Diesel was very inspiring, both in seeing what can be done with it as far as structure and engineering, and in the way it can give a collection an aesthetic lift.”
As the upscale, contemporary sibling of Diesel, the billion-dollar-plus denim brand founded by Renzo Rosso nearly 35 years ago, there is “an ongoing debate about how to incorporate denim in the collection, as it should be,” said Melbostad. “It’s not something we would want to overdo, but raw denim is a very important part of the evolution of Diesel Black Gold and I’m just beginning to see some of what can be done with it.”
In the pre-fall grouping, the fabric is an integral part of a statement that suggests a modern American biker, appearing in both raw and coated form in jeans cut on the skinny side, in jackets shown layered with longer outerwear and as trim in other pieces.
“When I first met with Renzo, it seemed like a natural fit,” the designer said. “There was an exploration of what denim could be, and I had a good feeling about doing a collection that was a little more accessible from a price standpoint.”
In searching for a creative director to succeed Sophia Kokosalaki, Rosso said, “We needed to find somebody who came not from the Diesel world but from the world of designer and luxury, who would respect what we are and also had the respect of the market. Who could upgrade the line and show us where it needed to go.”
Rosso, who last month added a majority stake in Marni to the Only the Brave Srl stable that houses Diesel and the Black Gold collection, had a positive sense about Melbostad even before discussing the DBG job with him.
“I was so much in love with the Phi collection,” he told WWD. “It was very sexy, very dark with lots of metal — actually, very much me.”
Rosso views Black Gold, founded in 2008, as a natural fashion extension for a woman who is 35 or older, may have grown up with the Diesel brand and is ready for something with more fashion, quality and modernity, as well as a contemporary price point.
At about 55 million euros, or $72 million at current exchange, DBG’s 2012 sales are dwarfed by Diesel’s 1.1 billion euros, or about $1.45 billion. The care and nurturing of the collection are a high priority for Rosso as he shepherds high-fashion properties such as Viktor & Rolf, Maison Martin Margiela and now Marni through an uncertain, fickle market.
DBG is sold in the contemporary departments of department stores and in contemporary specialty stores, but its own retail footprint has been limited to a store on Greene Street in New York’s SoHo district, with plans for stand-alone stores in Tokyo and, later on, “the most important towns in the world.” While Rosso is careful not to mix the upscale with the more mainstream to too great an extent, DBG is sold in dedicated space within the best of Diesel’s 400-plus stores around the world.
Rosso declined to provide sales goals for the collection but was clear on his direction for the collection.
“Andreas has the hand for luxury and the contemporary, and we have the denim hand,” he said. “We have joined hands but we have to be careful that it has its own identity. We don’t want to contaminate it.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye