BREGANZE, Italy — Diesel will unveil its first full-fledged collection under the artistic direction of Nicola Formichetti in Venice on Thursday — exactly a year after he joined the Italian brand — and has linked with Twitter for the event.
This story first appeared in the April 2, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We want to offer an experience people can remember and we are looking at creating an event outside the established fashion weeks in Paris, Milan or New York — which are already chock-full of shows,” said Formichetti during an interview at the headquarters of Diesel’s parent company, OTB, here, about an hour’s drive from Venice.
“We like to create our own rules,” he said, underscoring how Venice is close to the brand’s heritage.
“Yes, this show is who we are, we are bringing the brand back home,” echoed Renzo Rosso, founder of OTB and Diesel cofounder. Over the past few years, he has increasingly focused on growing OTB, a fashion conglomerate that also comprises Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Marni and production arm Staff International, which manufactures and distributes brands including DSquared2, Just Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs.
As a result, Rosso believes that “Diesel’s DNA was recently lost, but Nicola went back to our archives and unearthed it — its alternative spirit to luxury and rebellious attitude. I need him to inject modernity to the brand. Diesel was more Renzo Rosso, now it’s going to be more Nicola Formichetti for the future of the brand. This in Venice will be an amazing experience, less of a fashion show and more of an event.”
About 300 guests are expected to attend and Diesel will present designs for fall.
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Guest tweeters for the event will include Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani, American rapper Brooke Candy and bloggers Suzie Bubble and Chiara Ferragni, and they also will make themselves available for live question-and-answer sessions the day of the event. This will allow Twitter users to have an interactive experience through “friends and family ambassadors. It’s a voice from Venice, and it will be like looking at the event through someone else’s point of view,” said Formichetti. “It’s personal and almost like sending a text message.”
Formichetti, who was previously creative director at Thierry Mugler and Lady Gaga’s stylist and her de facto fashion director, relied on Tumblr and word of mouth to cast the subjects of his first Diesel ad campaign last summer — several selected from the social-network pool.
“This event in Venice is intimate, but it’s not about being exclusive. On the contrary, while we are not live-streaming it, we want to do something different and more contemporary and are supporting Twitter,” explained Formichetti, underscoring that he wants to bring a “human aspect” to social networking. “I love the digital world, but the human touch is as important; I see it as a tool to spread love,” he continued.
Wi-Fi Twitter Mirrors will be set up and available to all guests to create selfies. Also, it is understood Twitter plans to experiment with new tools to apply to the fashion world.
Diesel will also post a video of the show on diesel.com the following day.