Renzo Rosso (founder Diesel) “finally met someone as crazy as he is”
In the six months since Nicola Formichetti was appointed artistic director at Diesel, the fashion world has been impatient to see what surprises his debut collection for the house would hold. Would he transform the brand with his unique take on high-low fashion? And has Renzo Rosso finally found somebody to take this long-established brand forward into the future?
Since bursting on to the scene as an art director and fashion buyer, Formichetti’s star has been firmly in the ascendant. His work on a variety of magazines initially brought him to prominence, but it has been his collaboration with global phenomenon Lady Gaga that has catapulted his reputation into the stratosphere. As fashion director of the Haus of Gaga he has been responsible for some of her most outrageous and newsworthy outfits – who could forget that infamous meat dress? Not only is Formichetti regarded as one of the most creative forces in the industry today, but he was also awarded the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the 2010 British Fashion Awards.
Rebooting Diesel’s Image
Formichetti’s initial capsule collection for Diesel reflects the brand’s iconic denim heritage. #DIESELTRIBUTE is a 43-piece assortment of jeans, vests, jackets and shirts, accessorised with studs, badges and eagle iconography. According to Formichetti, the objective was to celebrate the brand’s 35-year history by using images from the archives and giving them a contemporary edgy twist. In a typically quirky Formichetti move, the accompanying advertising campaign is something of a new concept. Rather than running a traditional magazine campaign, Formichetti has teamed up with photographer Nick Knight to create advertising specifically tailored for social media platforms. Shot entirely on an iPhone, the digital campaign features both photos and a short film. This tech-savvy approach is engineered to appeal to a wide digital audience, Formichetti understands that this innovative technique will allow the Diesel brand to reach new markets.
From the very first days of his appointment, Formichetti has been determined to bring his own unique style to this famous brand. Although he may have taken inspiration from Diesel’s past for #DIESELTRIBUTE, his other work has a distinctly cutting-edge feel. Accessory lines entitled ‘Bullet’ and ‘Bondage’ are bold and dramatic with a strong element of shock value, whilst Formichetti has named American rapper Brooke Candy as the muse for the collection’s handbag. There can be no doubt that Formichetti’s first full collection and catwalk show next March will be something truly spectacular. With anticipation for his future collections already at fever pitch, Formichetti looks sets to boost Diesel’s profits considerably over the coming months.
Formichetti’s appointment as artistic director of Diesel appears to have been a masterstroke for the brand. His radical and often controversial approach to design, combined with a great understanding of how to use social media as a marketing tool, makes him a force to be reckoned with.