By  on February 16, 2010

Straight off a flight from London at 7 p.m. last Thursday, Sophia Kokosalaki presides over the 7th floor of Diesel’s New York headquarters on West 19th Street. Even after a six-hour flight and a full day’s work, Kokosalaki is dressed in a long black dress and gold jewelry, a look she admits deviates from her typical work attire. “Just wait until tomorrow, when I’m back on the floor in my jeans,” she says. Denim is a genre she’s all the more familiar with since taking the reins at Diesel Black Gold, the high-end contemporary arm of Diesel, in July. Kokosalaki’s Black Gold debut on Feb. 16 marks not only her first stab at denim, but also a New York show, a prospect the designer finds exciting. “I’ve shown in Milan, Paris, London,” she says. “Now I can say we’ve done it all.”

Those familiar with Kokosalaki’s own collection, launched in 1999 and known for its elaborate swirled and pleated constructions, might think casual denim an odd fit for the Greek-born, London-based designer, who shows in Paris. But the Black Gold gig came in tandem with Kokosalaki’s reacquiring of her collection from Diesel chairman Renzo Rosso, who purchased her line three years ago for his Only the Brave holdings portfolio. “We’ve found a solution that made us both happy,” says Kokosalaki of the deal. “And Renzo knows everything about denim. I’d be a fool not to try this.”

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