MILAN — When Diesel founder and OTB president Renzo Rosso earlier this year revealed the appointment of Nicola Formichetti as the brand’s artistic director, he said, “I have replaced myself and can go on vacation.”
This story first appeared in the August 29, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
But something was still missing — a chief executive officer who, after the departure of Daniela Riccardi in April, could drive the brand into its new phase.
Now Rosso may actually be able to take a vacation — or at least focus on the operations of the company’s parent, OTB, and his deep involvement in the restructuring of the Italian Fashion Chamber. On Wednesday, Diesel named Alessandro Bogliolo as its new ceo, effective October. Bogliolo will report to Stefano Rosso and Marina Tosin, co-ceos of OTB SpA.
Bogliolo has extensive experience in luxury goods, having worked 16 years at Bulgari in various roles, including as chief operating officer. He also has served as chief operating officer of Sephora North America. His appointment reflects Rosso’s intent to reinforce Diesel’s position in the high-end fashion arena.
“Diesel is going through a new phase. Following the appointment of Nicola Formichetti as artistic director of the brand earlier this year and the launch of the first marketing initiatives, such as the #Diesel Reboot campaign, this new arrival is the cherry on the cake,” said Rosso. “Diesel is a premium and international brand, and Alessandro, with his background, will confirm and enrich this positioning and our future growth ambitions.”
While the company declined to provide figures for the Diesel brand, OTB last year closed with sales of about 1.5 billion euros, or $1.9 billion at average exchange, up 10 percent from the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose more than 10 percent compared with 181 million euros, or $251.6 million, in 2011.
“I’ve always looked at Diesel as both one of the few iconic brands in the world and a company producing extraordinary results,” Bogliolo said. “I join the label in the year of its 35th anniversary, and I’m so [pleased] by the idea of being able to contribute to the definition of its new growth phase.”
While press and buyers will have to wait until October, when the brand will unveil the first capsule collection designed by Formichetti, to see the first fruits of Diesel’s new creative chapter, the company has already set the tone of its creative course with the recent launch of the fall ad campaign shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
In keeping with the brand’s unconventional approach, Formichetti used Tumblr to enroll everyday but eccentric people to reflect “the diversity of the creative community today, and not just the typical model,” the designer told WWD.