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Diesel was founded by Renzo Rosso and Adriano Goldschmied in the town of Molvena, Italy in 1978 with the idea of making denim aspirational. Born in Padua, Italy in 1955, Rosso was the son of a farmer. He went on to study industrial textiles before setting up the Diesel brand soon after graduating. The name Diesel was chosen very carefully because it is pronounced the same in every language, therefore increasing the international saleability.
Eight years after setting up the company, Rosso gained sole ownership of the Diesel brand recognizing the potential. Without having a marketing or advertising background he opened a flagship store in New York, with this bold attitude and marketing strategy people quickly started to sit up and take notice. People soon took notice of the brands quality designs and unique washes on worn denim, with Diesel establishing themselves in the fashion world offering an alternative view and style.
Rosso brought Wilbert Das to the Diesel team in 1988. Fresh from graduating after studying fashion design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem, Holland, Das travelled to Italy for an interview. Rosso hired him on the spot and he began working at Diesel the same day. Das became Creative Director at the brand and throughout his time there they became famous for their denim collections. Pioneering techniques to age jeans, experimental dyes, destruction, reshaping and movement of pockets were some of the many innovations and contemporary techniques utilised during this period.
During the following years Diesel sucessfully introduced collections of footwear, shades, jewellery, watches and other accessories. The Diesel accessories range in particular becoming immensely popular with industry leading designs with both watches and sunglasses.
With this massive expansion of the brand which has seen sales of well over €1 billion and it's product sold in over 5000 retail outlets all over the globe, they tailor their range to address a common global demand. They have unique global collections where the styling is clearly international. But they also have products specific for certain areas like the more colourful ingredients in their collections for the South American market.
Rosso and Diesel's approach to advertising and marketing is still as innovative and unique as ever. Recent ad campaigns, going against the traditional fashion ad template, have involved humorous themes and slogans often with added shock value to create brand interest. It's creative marketing has seen the brand sponsor the Sundance Film Festival and in 2008 they began marketing their designs on the PSN social network Playstation Home, with the designs available to buy in the virtual world with proceeds going to Diesel's charity the Only The Brave Foundation.
With continuous fresh and creative ideas, Diesel produce over 40 new designs and washes for their denim each year. Add to this the Diesel brands recent successful expansions into accessories, footwear and fragrances to name a few and adding a childens range (Diesel Kid) and a premium range, Diesel Black Gold to the brand.
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