Online magazine Business of Fashion released an exclusive interview this morning with Diesel founder Renzo Ross0 and Black Gold’s creative director Andreas Melbostad, in addition to other Diesel executives, discussing the reboot of the Diesel brand that is now entering its second year. One of the objectives with Diesel Black Gold, which currently accounts for a “low, single digit percentage” of the company’s overall revenue, is to establish the brand not only at the upper ends of the luxury ready to wear market, but to also increase its appeal with women, who tend to think of Diesel as a men’s wear brand. So, this season finds that not only is there no men’s wear mixed into this spring/summer presentation, but that strong efforts are made to appeal to the more feminine side of would-be buyers.
Not that Diesel Black Gold is straying too terribly far from its roots. There is still plenty of denim here. What is different is that these are decidedly women’s pieces, not men’s wear slightly modified to fit the female frame. Waist lines are high and tapered. The whole silhouette runs much more lean (no baggy jeans here). Cropped tops have a definitive curve to them. Some of the jackets have just a bit of padding in the shoulders, but not to the extent as to redefine the overall aesthetic. Occasional pieces of leather don’t hurt, either.
There is a touch of cowgirl in the dresses. The star motif is likely to be a popular one among city girls whose only relationship with a cow comes when they order a double cheeseburger with fries. These looks are more appropriate for going out and kicking up dust at the dance hall, however, than wearing around the farm. Skirts are short but have enough volume to look good when one twirls, belts and blouses are studded in a way that will be sure to catch the spotlight, and the cotton poplin pieces will prevent, or at least reduce, unsightly perspiration stains. Give the girl a margarita and she’s ready for a big night on the town.
Just how effective this campaign might be is something I hesitate to predict. The clothes are certainly built with the solid sturdiness that one expects from a high end retailer. However, the number of places carrying the Diesel Black Gold label are limited. Not even all the free-standing Diesel stores will have them, and some of those will only have limited supplies, making it difficult for some to find their favorite looks in sizes that fit. Rosso admitted that they’re still studying and making changes to the retail side of the equation, so hopefully by next spring they’ll have figured out a slightly more effective strategy.
Diesel Black Gold is an attractive line, but is it really what young women want in their closets next spring? We’ll see.
Photo credit: Kim WestonArnold