August 27 2014

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EXCLUSIVE: Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti Plays Michelangelo for Pre-Fall



“It’s about the future, but in order to move forward, you have to look back,” said Nicola Formichetti of his Pre-Fall Nick Knight-lensed Diesel campaign, the first he’s released for a full Formichetti-designed Diesel ready-to-wear collection. Starring Formichetti’s friend, model Kiko Mizuhara, and a diverse cast of other beautiful faces, the images are set against a backdrop comprising glitched scans of ripped male bodies rendered in the style of the great masters. The models pose stoically (and sexily) in Diesel’s black leather wares. “I wanted to portray a new community, a new kind of tribe,” Formichetti said of the photographs, which debut exclusively here. “We were looking at the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo, Picasso, and Avedon. These images are neo-neo-classical. They’re an homage to the digital world juxtaposed with the classics.”

The campaign is representative of Formichetti’s broader vision for and influence on Diesel. “When he was creating the gods, Michelangelo used street kids as models, and he would elevate them in a way,” explained Formichetti. One might say the same about the designer, who’s embraced the Internet’s misfit stars and plastered them across billboards and magazine pages via his past Diesel ads. Just look at what he’s done for stripper-turned-rapper Brooke Candy. Thanks to Formichetti’s styling skills, she’s now decked in a bevy of designer—albeit often racy—duds. (Side note: He’s currently working on the star’s next music video, a follow-up to their last collaboration, “Opulence.”)


“Every day, digital becomes more important,” Formichetti insisted when asked about his obsession with all things online. “Today I was telling my graphic designer to re-crop the advertisements in Instagram format so we can put a logo on that. To say that to a graphic designer of a brand, it’s really like, wow, the world is changing! And I love it.”
More of Formichetti’s neo-neo-classical tale will be revealed in the main collection campaign, set to debut later this summer. But in the meantime, he’s just excited that his first complete collection will at long last be available. “The clothes are going to be in stores this week, and finally it feels like after being at Diesel for a whole year, and having the show in Venice in April, and designing two capsule collections, the Diesel Reboot is complete. We have a foundation. And to me, these images represent the new Diesel.”

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