In news that will surprise no one, Nicola Formichetti is officially headed to Diesel.
According to a press release, the designer will serve as the brand’s first artistic director and will be responsible not only for product design but marketing, communications and interior design.
“I finally met somebody as crazy as I am,” said Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel. “Nicola shares my vision and I find it incredibly inspiring to work with him: two creative planets are colliding to generate fresh, mad, insane ideas. With his help, I want to break more rules and bring the real Diesel to a new generation.”
Though Formichetti just left Mugler (like, two days ago), this new partnership has actually been in the works for about a year and a half. According to WWD, Rosso walked into a Formichetti pop-up store in September 2011 that was designed to look like a ‘bombed-out disco,’ and was blown away.
“The presentation and every single item in the store were just unbelievable,” Rosso said. “I spent four hours going through that store.” From that moment Rosso felt he had found a “kindred spirit.” (Diesel’s former creative director, Bruno Collin, left the brand shortly after that in December 2011.)
For Formichetti, the love affair with Diesel has been going on much longer, since “he was an 18-year-old student in London in the mid-Nineties.” That, and the fact that Diesel has global reach (and boatloads of money), is one of the reasons Formichetti took the position. According to WWD, the designer became frustrated with Mugler’s “limited budget” and reconciling his vision with the brand’s heritage.
Those are two problems he probably won’t have at Diesel since the label’s sales grew by $1 billion last year and since Rosso seems keen to let Formichetti do basically whatever he wants.
“I remembered that Diesel and I are all about the same things,” Formichetti said. “No rules! It’s about being empowered, It’s about being free.”
So what does Formichetti want to do at Diesel? Well, apparently it might include doing Diesel couture.
Formichetti told WWD he’s eager to expand into categories ranging from “high fashion and couture to streetwear and activewear.” We’re not exactly sure how we feel about Diesel couture (okay, to be honest, we don’t like it) but one thing’s for sure: With Formichetti at the helm, the brand is bound to be a lot more fashion-y.
“We’ve got a lot of crazy ideas,” Formichetti said, “but we’re not ready to share them. Yet.”
While his first designs for the brand won’t land in stores until 2014, Formichetti’s impact can already be felt at the brand: Today he launched the DIESELREBOOT project with the intent to “mobilize an emerging global creative community to collaborate with him.”
“We’re going to REBOOT!” Formichetti said in the release. “Hit refresh. That’s our first project: we’re ripping apart everything to re-build something bigger. I want to get the creative young people around the world to be part of the process.”