BERLIN — Andrea Rosso shared insights into Diesel’s licensing business during the celebration of the exclusive Diesel Alrite Watch at St. Elisabeth church on Thursday.
The Diesel Alrite Watch is the newest project with licensing partner Fossil, limited to 555 unique watches with canvas-fabric painted by Brooklyn-based artist Romon Yang, known as Rostarr. It was unveiled in Tokyo in October, with a more commercial replica hitting the market in November.
Fossil is one of the company’s many license partners and has been manufacturing jewelry and watches under the Diesel moniker since 1999. The partnership was renewed until 2025 last year. In Berlin, Diesel and Fossil announced an additional collaboration with Sotheby’s for an online charity auction of three watches from the collection, scheduled for Dec. 8, with proceedings going to Renzo Rosso’s OTB Foundation.
Andrea Rosso, creative director of Diesel Licenses and Renzo Rosso’s eldest son, reported that the company’s licensing business is steadily growing, being the third-biggest profit generator after denim and apparel.
“The license business is very big and demanding,” he said. “It’s interesting because you have to deal with a lot of partners and each one requires a different language. When we look for partners, we look at what they are able to do in terms of very specific competences in product quality, but also in terms of communication and aesthetic expression that we may not possess. We love partners who can give us a certain Italian-ness and translate a Diesel mood into new product categories.”
Andrea Rosso develops new products with his own creative team and the licensing partner, but reports to Diesel creative director Nicola Formichetti. During the past years, the Diesel Living segment has expanded with specialist partners like Foscarini for lamps, Moroso for furniture, Seletti for tableware, amongst others. This year, tile manufacturer Iris and luxury home textile producer Mirabello Carrara have joined, but Rosso says he is still looking for a partner for wallpapers.
The Diesel family has also grown in another direction: Diesel has become style partner for premier league Italian A.C. Milan football club this fall, dressing the soccer players for the next three years.