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Diesel Debuts E-Commerce, Taps U.S. CEO

Diesel is launching its first full-scale e-commerce business today at its Diesel.com Web site.

NEW YORK — Diesel is launching its first full-scale e-commerce business today at its Diesel.com Web site. Consumers will now be able to purchase over 1,000 items on the site, including denim, sportswear, underwear and accessories, with shipping available to the U.S. and Europe. Diesel Kids will be added in December. 

The site, which Diesel now considers its largest flagship store, had a soft test launch on Nov. 5, and is officially open for business today. 

“I have always dreamed of a store where all my favorite products are available at the same time,” said Renzo Rosso, president and founder of Diesel. “Finally, creating a digital gallery, we provide Diesel fans around the world with a unique, mind-blowing experience of shopping.” 

Prior to this ambitious e-commerce launch, only Diesel watches licensed to Fossil could be purchased online. 

Diesel partnered with Italy’s Yoox Services, a division of online fashion retailer Yoox Group, to provide the e-commerce platform, fulfillment of orders and customer service. Yoox is also the online partner of designer label Marni, and its own multibrand site at Yoox.com shipped about one million items last year.

As could be expected from a company known for its innovative marketing, Diesel’s online store employs advanced, high-definition cinematic features that create a visually rich and emotive shopping experience. A “Diesel Style Lounge” section of the site features models in entire Diesel looks, floating underwater with 3-D effects that have them twist and turn so that details and draping can be viewed in an dramatic manner. A separate section of the site emphasizes usability and instant gratification, allowing shoppers to browse and buy Diesel’s full collections in a clean, easy-to-use interface. 

The online shopping initiative comes as Diesel named a new U.S. CEO. Steven Birkhold, 44, assumed the top position here on Nov. 5, replacing Panicko Philippou, who exited the company in August to move to London for personal family reasons. 

Birkhold is an 11-year veteran of VF Corp., with his most recent position as general manager of its Nautica Jeans business. He was president of VF’s Earl Jean brand from 2004 until it was sold to Jordache in 2006. Prior to that he was vice-president and general manager for women’s at VF’s Lee Jeans brand. 

Philippou had been CEO of Diesel USA since 2004, prior to which he was CEO of Diesel’s UK business. He was with the company for 12 years. Now in London, he has been named CEO of British company WDT, which owns the Firetrap and Sonneti fashion brands. 

Molvena, Italy–based Diesel is part of Renzo Rosso’s Only The Brave holding company. Diesel operates more than 300 stores worldwide, including 35 full-price stores and five outlets in the U.S.