EXCLUSIVE: MyFDB Fuels Up With Diesel’s Stefano Rosso
Stopping for lunch at the Chateau Marmont wearing a grey sweatshirt with a striking red Diesel Lips sticker on it, you’d never pin the soft-spoken Stefano Rosso as Diesel‘s Head of Strategic Brand Alliance. An FIT graduate, who started his fashion career working with ZooYork and Ecko in 2005, he then returned to his home country of Italy to join the family business. Now in 2011, Stefano, son of Diesel founder Renzo Rosso, is continuing to push the global brand’s influence further. MyFDB joined him at the Chateau to learn more about his position and what’s next for Diesel.
As the Head of Strategic Brand Alliances for Diesel, what exactly does your position entail?
Every time I talk to people about my job, they always ask me, “So exactly what do you do?” It’s kind of simple. I take care of all the collaborations with the company and with other parties. It could be brands, it could be artists or musicians, so we can create new collaborations with the brands. Collaborations that are not technically licenses, they tend to be short term and have an objective that is totally different…We want to keep and add even more coolness to our brand. Meanwhile, technically licenses are just a brand extension to gain extra revenue from the exploitation of your brand. This is what I don’t like to do.
We loved your collaboration with Uffie! Can you reveal any artists or collaborations that Diesel has in the works?
There is something that we are doing right now but it’s at the first stage of development which we will develop into something bigger. We are doing a collaboration with Ducati Motorbikes…so we are now sponsors of the Ducati motor-racing team with the two pilots Nicky Hayden, who is American and Valentino Rossi, who is Italian. It is only the first step of a bigger collaboration, as we want to put the two brands together to do something even more interesting and more exciting.
With Diesel being a well known global brand, how would you describe Diesel’s diverse style influence across the globe?
It’s very interesting…The opportunity [that comes with] being a global brand is that you’re able to deliver one message to everybody, they all get the same message. So, of course this has its challenges as you find yourself limiting your tone of voice or being misunderstood by different cultures. But as a matter of fact, if you really want to leave a mark or a sign, you have to be very consistent with what you say and how you say it. So that’s why we decided as a brand to have only one global collection for the entire world and one global advertising campaign with one product and one tone of voice for everybody. It’s either you like it and you’re into it and then you really stand for something strong…or you like something else.
Since you’re town for the WWD Denim Forum, what denim trends can we expect to see this fall?
This is a very technical question. In the past year and a half, I think we have really invested a lot of time in new treatments. Especially, in treatment techniques that will allow your 5 pocket to look even better and different every single day. We have one patent technique that we are using and [it will] actually be in store this year for the first time. It is called “turbo dying” and it’s a special technique in which the more you wear your 5 pocket, the more it gets used, but it takes half of the time to get the end result of having a vintage denim [look] than a regular 5 pocket. This is because we apply a special treatment that will age your denim in a very fast way. After 60 days you can have a 5 pocket that looks maybe 3 years old.
Do you have any other exciting plans while your in Los Angeles?
You know it’s very strange, because LA is a glamourous city…but I actually came for a very private reason. I came for my sister’s graduation from college, so it was a family moment. I probably will spend more time with my family in these four days than in the past two years.
Lastly, What advice do you have for aspiring fashion industry hopefuls?
Do everyday what you really really really love and if you think something is good, its nice, you believe in it; just do it. Don’t ever go to compromise because nowadays if you compromise, you’re just doing something that somebody else is already doing. So you’re never going to win… The only way you are going to win, is if you have a strong idea and go all the way through with it.
Great advice indeed and we can’t wait to get a pair of turbo dyed jeans. A special thank you to the team at Diesel and Stefano Rosso for sharing his insights with MyFDB.