MILAN — Changes are brewing at Diesel.
The second Diesel Red Tag collection will show in Milan on June 16 during Men’s Fashion Week, WWD has learned, while the Diesel Black Gold line, a fixture on the city’s calendar since 2016, will now be presented to retailers and clients in its showroom.
Diesel Red Tag was launched as a capsule project in March in Paris, designed by Shayne Oliver, cofounder of Hood by Air, but Diesel is keeping the name of the second guest designer under wraps.
According to market sources, Renzo Rosso, founder of the OTB group that controls Diesel, has eyed Belgian designer Glenn Martens, creative director of the Paris-based Y/Project label, which scooped up the 2017 ANDAM Grand Prize, to conceive the second Red Tag capsule.
On May 18, via an Instagram post, Rosso confirmed the hire of Martens.
Martens, who grew up in the Belgian city of Bruges and attended Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, made fashion fame with his deconstructed denim that can be ruched or folded back to create a wider effect.
“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,” said Rosso. “The new generations are excited and engaged by beautiful products that have a soul and speak the language of today.”
In December, Diesel parted ways with artistic director Nicola Formichetti after a four-year tenure, as reported, with Rosso now spearheading the brand’s new direction.
Presenting the first collection in March, Rosso said he had returned to “driving Diesel, because I was out running all the other companies and brands and other businesses, but I needed to be back, this is my blood, it’s my baby.” OTB also controls Maison Margiela, Marni, Paula Cademartori, Viktor & Rolf, Staff International and Brave Kid.
“The product is totally different, the communication is becoming cool like it used to be before,” Rosso claimed in March. Former Bershka executive Marco Agnolin joined Diesel as its new chief executive officer in January, succeeding Alessandro Bogliolo, who left for Tiffany & Co. in October.
In sync with the current industry trend, influential designers will work with Diesel to create capsules that will be distributed exclusively by selected retailers worldwide under the Diesel Red Tag label. The 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.
Oliver’s collection comprises 10 looks, which will be available starting from the end of August on Diesel.com and in concept stores such as L’Eclaireur, Luisa Via Roma, Artifacts and Opening Ceremony, thanks to a collaboration with Tomorrow London Ltd., which is distributing each collection under this initiative.
The women’s and men’s upscale contemporary Diesel Black Gold line is designed by Andreas Melbostad, who was tapped in 2012. The collection was initially shown in New York, but moved to Milan in February 2016.