Diesel founder and owner Renzo Rosso hit New York last week for the brand’s 30th anniversary extravaganza, featuring a concert for thousands by M.I.A., Franz Ferdinand, T.I., Chaka Khan, Hot Chip and N.E.R.D. on the Brooklyn waterfront. A few hours prior to the mega-fête, Rosso met with DNR for a sushi lunch at Lure and talked about his three decades building his $2 billion business—which now includes controlling stakes in Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf, and distribution licenses for DSquared and Vivienne Westwood.
DNR: So, how does it feel to have reached this major milestone? RENZO ROSSO: I saw the people who were waiting in line at our stores to buy our limited-edition anniversary jeans and I was very emotional. I cried yesterday. I think about the 30 years and it was very hard work. I suffered for every single step of our success. And the U.S. was the hardest market to break into. But to see how much young people love us, it was incredible.
DNR: Do you still work full-time on Diesel? What areas do you focus on? RR: Normally, I go to work on Monday at midday and I leave at 6 p.m. And then I go on vacation. [Laughs.] No, I am a hard worker. I go to work 8:30 in the morning and I like to go home by 6, because I like to meet my trainer and do something for my body. If you are in shape, you have better energy all day long. Sometimes when I am fat, I get tired. I work on the creative areas. It can be interior design, advertising or the collections. I think our company is unique in terms of having very professional people, but simple people.
DNR: Would you ever consider taking the company public? RR: No. Financially we are okay and can finance all our own activities. And now my children have started to work in the company. When you are public, you have to spend so much time playing the numbers. And you miss the focus of who you want to be and maybe you can destroy the brand.
DNR: And now you’re making a big investment in a Fifth Avenue flagship. RR: It’s 18,000 square feet with 110 to 120 employees. When it opens in February, it will be the biggest Diesel store in the world, and will sell 1,000 units a day. We are creating an entirely new facade for the building, taking off the ceilings, putting in new stairs. It is such a big investment. But this is the most important town in the world, so it must be the most important store. This is my dream. Japan is the biggest business for Diesel, with the U.S., Italy and the U.K. behind. But next year, the U.S. will become the biggest business.
DNR: What are your upcoming goals for Diesel? RR: With brands today, the consumer wants an entire lifestyle. We have started to develop home lines, with furniture and lamps. We just launched a limited-edition car with Fiat and are selling 10,000 units. And I want to expand our luxury Black Gold collection from 300 doors to 1,000.
DNR: What are your plans for Margiela, Viktor & Rolf and DSquared? RR: I am very excited about Viktor & Rolf. The first collection [under Diesel’s ownership] will be fall/winter ’09. We won’t be ready to open stores for them for maybe two years, after we have developed shoes and bags and belts—the whole lifestyle. But that is the direction we are going in. Margiela is already developed, so we do plan more stores. With DSquared, it’s a license. We are doing the best we can for them. More than this we cannot do. When the contract renewal comes up in three more years, we will see.
DNR: Do you have your eye on any other brands? RR: No, no, no. We have the right number. I want to spend time to develop them. To do it right, you can’t have too many. You can write this: no more brands.
@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
@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)