diesel u:music

INTERVIEW: Fashion Indie Sits Down With Renzo Rosso

INTERVIEW: Fashion Indie Sits Down With Renzo Rosso fashion

Yesterday could not have been any more perfect. The weather was warm and sunny, I had just finished doing a walk through of one of my favorite showrooms in Soho, and now I was on my way into the Diesel building to meet up with the living legend Renzo Rosso. As if I wasn’t in enough of a state of disbelief that I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Rosso, I was completely blown away by the amazing showroom/headquarters they are working in. As pushed through the heavy doors that read “Only The Brave…” I knew what/who was waiting on the other side, and I couldn’t wait to pick the brain of the man responsible arguably the most famous denim brand of all time.

Fashion Indie: “Diesel U:Music and your global parties bring out some of the best new musical artists in the industry. Are their any artists/bands you are currently listening to?”

Renzo Rosso: [in his Italian inspired English which tends to hypnotize you] “Well I grew up in the rock and roll era, listening to artists like Black Sabbath and The Sex Pistols. A lot of this rock and roll attitude has definitely played a big part in what Diesel has become. However, I think all music is important. [Right now] All I really listen to is the Diesel U:Music radio station. They always play a wide variety of music, and have two live performances everyday. This has taught me to draw inspiration from whatever is happening at that moment, whether it be Kanye West, Pharrell, Rage Against The Machine, or Madonna all music is important. I have recently found their attitudes more and more inspirational, and that’s what I like to bring out in my clothing.”

FI: “You’re being honored with the Corporate Leadership Award at the 26th Annual Night of the Stars gala. Be honest, did you ever imagine Diesel getting this big?”

RR: “I think most people dream of being big of course, but they never really believe it until they hit that turning point. Once I knew I had established my brand, I could really focus on making it as big as I could. That is an amazing feeling, a feeling that I will never forget. While it felt like forever when it was happening, looking back it feels like it happened overnight.”

FI: “What do you attribute to this success?”

RR: “One thing that we have always tried to be with Diesel is pioneers. We are always introducing new, modern, different, fresh, and rebellious products that take both denim and the people wearing it to a whole new place. [However], I think the two biggest keys to our success were our vintage denim and the way we changed the way we communicated with our customers. Our vintage denim was something that no one else was doing at the time. We were the only ones able to produce a denim that had a look and feel of a great vintage pair of denim. This really helped to launch both Diesel and the industry into a new way of production. As I mentioned, our communication methods changed too. Most people were going direct saying ‘Here’s the product, buy it’. We decided to get away from that, and find a whole new way to communicate with our people. We decided to communicate through other people, the people our customers were listening to. We started working with celebrities, musicians, athletes to communicate in a more subtle way.”

FI: “You live an adventurous life, filled with hundreds of successes. Through all of that, one is bound to make some mistakes. Do you have any major regrets? Anything you wish you could change?”

RR: “I wish that I would have done more charity work. Don’t get me wrong I have and still do a lot, but I wish I would have made it more public. I recently met with the Dalai Lama and he told me ‘Use your brand and your face to show the work you have done. You have the power to inspire others, and you should take pride in what you have done.’ I have learned from that and plan to use my face and my power to send a positive message. In fact, we are currently working on building a village in Africa.”

FI: “In a world full of denim brands you have always managed to be one of the leaders in the industry. What has Diesel done that others haven’t?”

RR: “We produce a very unique denim. We have 51 years of history in manufacturing denim, and that has translated into quite the reputation amongst the industry. A lot of people don’t realize that a majority of the denim brands you find in the United States started off as Diesel affiliates. We have such amazing production facilities that they often work in the same factories as us, or they have worked at Diesel at some point in their careers. Diesel has gone on to foster a lot of these brands because of this.”

FI: “I am a big fan of your new fragrance ‘Only The Brave’, and judging by the way it was plastered all over your offices, you love it too. So do you wear the fragrance?”

RR: “I actually do wear the fragrance. I have produced many in the past, but this is the only one I wear [as he offers me to take a whiff of his scarf (I decline mostly because I could smell it prior to asking the question)]. Men’s fragrances are hard do, because I feel like they need to match the natural scent of a man’s skin.”

FI: “You are about to release your Flash For Fun collection, which contains a reflective material that glows under UV light. What was the inspiration behind this idea?”

RR: “Honestly? My kids. They came up to me saying they wanted something bright, new and fun, and this is what I gave them They loved all the pieces and the concept, and I decided that if they liked it why wouldn’t all my customers. My kids are great because they keep me really connected with what’s young and cool. This is a road I plan to take Diesel down now that I have successfully developed my Diesel Black Gold collection. Diesel is going to take a much more fun young feel, and Diesel Black Gold is going to be our high fashion line. I’m really excited to continue differentiating to two.”

[I get the dreaded wrap it up look from the other PR people in the room, and that signals the end despite the five questions I'm still dying to ask.]

I would like to thank all the people at Diesel who made this interview possible, my good friend Karli, and of course Mr. Rosso for the amazing opportunity.

For more on Diesel and Diesel U: Music be sure to check out their website.

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LAST NIGHT’S PARTY: Diesel U:Music Concert @ Webster Hall

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There was no shortage in attendance at last night’s U:Music Concert hosted by Diesel at Webster Hall, and even as the night pushed on later and later the line was still going strong. Thanks to our friends over at Cornerstone, Hillary and I were lucky enough to not only see the such bands as Passion Pit, Cobra Starship, The Clipse, The Roots and Kanye West perform, but we got a chance to sit down and ask Passion Pit and Cobra Starship some pretty interesting (and funny) fashion questions.

LAST NIGHTS PARTY: Diesel U:Music Concert @ Webster Hall fashion

The drinks were flowing at the all night open bar, and as Hillary and I enjoyed are drinks of choice, we warmed up the camera for the onslaught of pictures that were about to be taken.

LAST NIGHTS PARTY: Diesel U:Music Concert @ Webster Hall fashion

First up, Passion Pit! Due to a few personal connections to the band, I have to admit I was most excited to see Passion Pit. The band certainly didn’t let me down either. Mike Angelakos’ falsetto was in full effect, and the band put on one of the best shows I’ve seen all year.

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After Passion Pit wrapped up, Cobra Starship jumped on stage to perform a mix of new and old tracks, including Good Girls Go Bad off their upcoming album Hot Mess. The band got the dance party going for sure, and despite not having Leighton Meester come out to sing along, Cobra Starship definitely killed it.

LAST NIGHTS PARTY: Diesel U:Music Concert @ Webster Hall fashion

Then came the surprise of the night! The Clipse got up on stage and performed a handful of songs, one of which “The new king of pop” Kanye West came on stage to help out with. Due to the fact that I have never seen The Clipse before, I must admit they stole the show for me! Oh and did I mention that when I tried to snap a picture of Kanye backstage I was almost thrown out of the event by his douchey bodyguard? LAME!

LAST NIGHTS PARTY: Diesel U:Music Concert @ Webster Hall fashion

The Roots closed out the night with a solid performance as well. Quest Love was on the drums as always with his signature Afro flying proud. After plenty of drinks and a lot of time on our feet, it was time for Hillary and I to call it a night. A quick late night bite to eat, and back to the apartment to blog. Be sure to check out all the additional coverage of the event on Fashion Indie, I mean we were up until 5am blogging so show some love people!

Thanks again to everyone involved with the event, Karli, Passion Pit, Cobra Starship, and last but not least, Diesel.

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STREET ZEROES: The Notorious Passout Girl

STREET ZEROES: The Notorious Passout Girl fashion

Ah the infamous girl who passes out at the concert before the second performer hits the stage. It’ quite obvious at events like this who the real party goers are. Mental notes people, by all means get your money’s worth at open bar, but be careful of the infamous snowball effect. Clearly this girl found herself at amateur hour tonight. Oh well, you’ll learn!

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VIDEO: Cobra Starship @ Diesel U:Music Concert

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The stars of last night’s (again that is assuming you are reading this on Friday, despite it being posted at 4am) Cobra Starship put on quite the show. Gabe Sporta was his usual energetic self moving all across the stage, and while the clip above doesn’t feature the expected “special guest” Leighton Meester, their synth player Victoria takes over just fine. Check out the clip of them performing “Good Girls Go Bad” off their upcoming album Hot Mess, which will hit shelves August 11!

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QUOTABLE: Gabe From Cobra Starship (MUST Read!!!)

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“I haven’t bought a pair of jeans in ten years, fuck you Diesel!”

Oopsies!!! Someone at Diesel isn’t going to be happy with mister Gabe tomorrow (or today, rather, sleep isn’t an option at fashion indie…we wanted you to hear it first. You’re welcome in advance from Hillary and Corey at 4:03 AM)

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VIDEO: The Clipse ft. Kanye West @ Diesel U:Music

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Hillary and I spent last night (technically still tonight, sleep isn’t an option at Fashion Indie) at the U:Music party at Webster Hall. On the invite there was the big “Special Performance” tag line, which clearly meant all bets were off. Needless to say we were all surprised enough to see Pusha T and Malice of The Clipse, but when Kanye West stepped on stage it was game over! Despite almost getting thrown out of the party for trying to snap a picture of Mr. West before he got on stage, I was able to bargain my way out of trouble long enough to film this clip of their performance. Notice my amazing video skills thank you very much, but ignore how the flashing lights managed to mess with the auto focus at certain times.

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We sat down with Jeff, Ayad, and Ian of Passion Pit to rattle off a few questions before their set, and found out everything you really wanted to know:

Fashion Indie: So rumor has it you guys are sponsored by Marc Jacobs?

Passion Pit (looking shocked): No, we’d like to be sponsored by some dorky stuff (Ayad).

Manager- Marc Jacobs may be sending them some free stuff.

Ian- Usually what happens is that we endorse something, and then we get free stuff, like instruments.

Fashion Indie: Who is the most fashion-conscious member of your band?

PP: (Disagreement) Ian thinks he’s the most fashionable but Jeff and Ayad agree that it’s Mike.  Mike took a fashion class, which is where the name Passion Pit originated from. Fashion Indie agrees that it is most likely Mike.

FI: did a collaboration with Leighton Meester (who we actually had to explain to the guys that she was from Gossip Girl, they had no idea who she was).  If you could do a collaboration with a celebrity, who would it be?

PP: Beyonce.

Jeff- .

Manager- …you probably could do that.

Ayad- We should stick with the original.

Jeff- Yeah, we might as well reach for the sky.

FI: Have you guys seen the movie Bruno? (No, not yet). If he were to style your next photo shoot, would it be the full velcro suit? Or the kilt with angel wings from the MTV VMAs?

PP: Neither, the banana hammock

FI: If you were to do a collaboration product or line with Diesel, what would it be?

PP (after some muttering, something about not liking the pricing too much, I think):

Ayad- I’d do more stuff for broad shouldered, shorter guys. (Clearly making reference to his stature).

FI: Alright, last question; who had better style as a TV father figure, Mike Brady or Bill Cosby?

PP (In up-roaring agreement): Bill Cosby, he had a bad ass sweater collection.

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Passion Pit put on a killer performance. Corey is uploading videos to the Fashion Indie Youtube channel as I type! Check out more photos from their performance on Cult

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