By  on February 18, 2009

NEW YORK — The Diesel empire reached another milestone on Tuesday morning with the opening here of the fourth Diesel Planet store, its largest outpost in the world.

The three story, 20,000-square-foot flagship located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 54th Street is a crown jewel for Renzo Rosso and the company he founded in 1978, and one he believes will shine even brighter in the near future.

“I have big expectations,” said Rosso after a walk-through of the store on Monday afternoon, where hundreds of workers and new store staffers generated a hivelike atmosphere as they scurried about finishing construction, decorating and merchandising. “I’m just giving them the last instruction because I am never satisfied, always looking for perfection.”

Despite his critical examination of the store’s final details, Rosso did little to hide his excitement at the store’s opening the next morning and the opportunity it represents for the company.

“Of course I’m very happy to be on Fifth Avenue, very happy that in this particular moment in this [financial] crisis that we are able to invest so much money to open a store here,” said Rosso. “It makes me proud and happy, and I think we can [present] the reality of the brand and the company.”

Rosso’s bucking-the-tide attitude in opening the store mirrors that of another famous Italian, Giorgio Armani, who on the same day was unveiling his 43,000-square-foot megaflagship Armani/5th only two blocks away.

The new Planet store brings the entirety of the Diesel and Diesel Black Gold collections under one roof, giving a heavily international shopping demographic the opportunity to see the company’s full assortment of bags, footwear, watches, jewelry, sunglasses, fragrances and, above all, denim.

Diesel Planet Fifth Avenue is the only store in the company’s network to have more than 500 styles of denim and sizable denim areas on each floor. Customers will be able to customize their denim purchases with names and initials using a laser-etching technology. Special mirrors on each floor are equipped with a time-delayed camera that allows customers to get a view of their backsides without having to crane their necks over their shoulders. The attention to denim is among Rosso’s favorite aspects of the store and one he gets emotional, nearly reverential, in describing.

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