Shayne Oliver

MILAN — It’s a capsule craze. Shortly after the launch of Moncler Genius Building and Diego Della Valle’s reveal of Tod’s Factory,  both initiatives conceived to collaborate with designers and to drop capsule collections throughout the year, Diesel is presenting the Red Tag Project. Influential designers will work with Diesel to create capsules that will be distributed exclusively by selected retailers worldwide. The first such collection, comprising 10 looks, has been designed by Shayne Oliver, and will be unveiled in Paris with a special performative event on March 3.

“I love denim’s heritage and its American roots, as well as Diesel’s Italian core,” said Oliver, Hood by Air cofounder. As reported, the streetwear brand and collective is on hiatus and Oliver has created a special men’s and women’s collection for Helmut Lang that launched in September. “This capsule is really the language of Renzo, the brand founder. Refined razor-sharp denim aesthetics that devours the excesses of trendiness,” said Oliver.

The Diesel Red Tag Project is meant to foster interaction between Diesel and the fashion community as each designer will reinterpret the brand’s staple denim and sportswear elements.

“This is a vibrant moment for Diesel: we are working on a series of global initiatives, one of which is this with the most groundbreaking and radical international designers, like Shayne,” said Diesel founder Rosso, whose surname  translates to red in English and whose family investment company is called Red Circle Investments. “The new generations are excited and engaged by beautiful products that have a soul and speak the language of today.”

The collections will be curated and distributed by fashion platform Tomorrow London Ltd.

Rosso has been busy shaking the status quo at Diesel, in December parting ways with artistic director Nicola Formichetti after a four-year tenure. Diesel is not naming a successor at the moment. “I believe this kind of company can work differently, and not in this same kind of direction. There are many things coming up, special projects. The market is very different now. We want to be modern, I want to explore,” Rosso told WWD at the time.

Diesel parent OTB closed 2016 with net profits up 8.5 percent to 3.8 million euros, on revenues that were in line with the previous year, totaling 1.58 billion euros.

In 2016, Diesel’s revenues totaled 960 million euros, representing about 60 percent of OTB’s sales, but for the first time it operated at a loss, dented by business in Europe and the U.S., as well as in Hong Kong. The year 2016 was a complex one for the company, which was impacted by the repositioning of the Diesel brand and its more selective distribution, which led to a “voluntary reduction” of sales amounting to 200 million euros.

In the summer, Diesel named Stefano Rosso, son of Renzo, as its North American ceo, succeeding Tommaso Bruso, and marking the company’s decision to strengthen business in the North American market.

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