“Our men’s and women’s collections are really interlocked and I think this decision is a nice reflection of modern times and cultural changes,” said Diesel Black Gold creative director Andreas Melbostad, who was tapped in 2012 to design the brand’s women’s lineups and, a year later, took on responsibility for the men’s wear division as well. “The coed show will also allow us to stress the idea of individuality of the young generations, which are more free from certain established divisions.”
Melbostad also highlighted that “the show won’t be unisex. We will continue having a men’s collection and a women’s collection, even if there are already certain pieces which have a genderless attitude.” The coed shows will feature 50 percent of men’s looks and another 50 percent of women’s outfits, according to the designer. Men’s wear and women’s wear account for 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively, of Diesel Black Gold’s total business,.
“This is not something totally new for us. In 2008, we decided to show Diesel Black Gold collections in New York, because it was the only fashion city allowing us to present men’s wear and women’s wear together on the catwalk,” said Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel’s parent company OTB. “Then, the fashion system pushed us to split the two collections but finally things have changed….It doesn’t make any sense anymore to separately show the two lines.”
Rosso also underscored the commercial impact of this strategy. “Showing the women’s collections in June and January, rather than in September and February, we will hit the market earlier and there is the chance products will stay on shelves longer at full price before getting marked down,” he said.
Due to the anticipation of the women’s runway shows, Diesel Black Gold will cut the women’s pre-fall and resort collections, which are usually sold in conjunction with the men’s runway collections at the showroom. The company will maintain its men’s pre-collections.
“I think this decision will help us strengthen the image of the brand, and it will also enable us to allocate bigger budgets on the development of consumer-oriented projects,” Rosso added.
Dsquared2 and Damir Doma will also host coed shows in Milan next June.
Diesel Black Gold collections are sold in 200 multibrand stores across the world. “Our goal is to reinforce and further expand our presence in those markets, such as the U.S., China and Northern Europe, where the contemporary segment is well established,” Rosso said.
“We also have to expand our merchandising in order to offer our customers a complete range of products,” Melbostad added.
In 2016, Diesel revenues totaled 960 million euros, or $1.05 billion, representing about 60 percent of total sales, but for the first time it operated at a loss, dented by a slowdown in Europe and the U.S., as well as in Hong Kong. The first two-and-a-half months of the year started well and online sales are posting double-digit growth.