Venice has a special place in Renzo Rosso’s heart and, to celebrate the city, Diesel is unveiling a new capsule collection at the Italian city’s film festival.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, “life must go on,” said Diesel’s founder. “The Venice Film Festival is the first [organization] to hold a global, physical event [since the lockdown was lifted], and there is a strong desire to come out of this situation.”

As usual, Rosso opted for an unexpected way to present the collection, which is called “Unforgettable Venice” and is available at a typical vending stall, where tourists would usually find city memorabilia, on Piazza San Marco. On Sept. 4, Diesel will hold a cocktail party at the Grancaffè Quadri, whose restaurant is operated by the Alajmo family, on the same square, flanking the kiosk.

“Yes, this way of showcasing the capsule is unconventional, but I was walking through an almost deserted Piazza San Marco a while back and I felt I wanted to give a message of affection and hope to the city,” said Rosso, noting this is the first time Diesel is holding an event during the film festival.

The capsule is inspired by recognizable Venetian symbols and graphics, such as interpretations of the winged lion of San Marco, the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge on hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts and unisex baseball hats. On each piece, hand-drawn sketches are overlaid on the Venetian hallmarks, adding an ironic twist.

Sounding disappointed, Rosso addressed the second postponement of the reopening of Venice’s most famous bridge, the Ponte di Rialto. Diesel parent company OTB has helped finance the restoration of the 16th-century Venetian landmark, which was completed at the end of last year. A ceremony to present the restored bridge was supposed to be held earlier this year but was canceled due to the pandemic and another was scheduled for Wednesday, said Rosso, but had to once again be put off to a later date, due to social distancing restrictions.

A face mask will also be available as part of the capsule and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the accessory will be donated to the OTB Foundation to help fund social projects for families impacted by the pandemic crisis in Italy.

The limited-edition capsule, available in four variations and 55 pieces — five is Rosso’s favorite and lucky number — will be available at Diesel’s Venice store and on the brand’s e-commerce.

Diesel’s headquarters are in Breganze, about an hour-and-a-half drive from Venice, and Rosso has a home in the city, where he enjoys spending his weekends. “I love its architecture, its tiny streets, its typical trattorie, the gondole, the Venetians’ simpatia. I have traveled so much but there is no place in the world with the same charm, and I always tell myself how lucky I am to be so close to it.”

Despite the health emergency, Rosso sounded an upbeat note, believing the pandemic, “if we are intelligent,” will help us come out with a new take on life. “We have all been marked by this and we won’t forget it in a day, but we have to learn to live with this. It has changed our eating habits, making them healthier, we are thinking of sustainability and global warming more, we want less collections and we want to produce less waste and plastic. We are living more responsibly and thinking of living together in a better way.”


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