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April 24 2014

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4 posts tagged "Brooke Candy"

Exclusive: Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti Goes Hell for Leather

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Diesel Campaign

“Diesel is all about rebels,” insisted Nicola Formichetti, the brand’s artistic director and arguably one of the biggest rebels on the block. In fact, he may be second only to Renzo Rosso, Diesel’s founder, who gave Formichetti near-free reign of the house’s image when he hired the designer, stylist, and Internet whiz last year. If you think we’re exaggerating, just have a look at the Tokyo bondage party the pair threw to celebrate the label’s accessories collection last fall. Or consider the fact that Formichetti told us he’s holding his debut Diesel runway show on April 3 (that is, after fashion month) in Venice, just an hour east of the company’s Breganze, Italy, headquarters. “I wanted to do something away from fashion week, and to create our own rules,” Formichetti asserted. “It’s going to be an experience—way different from a fashion show. And it’s going to be really digital—but that’s no surprise.”

Never one for downtime, Formichetti is releasing a new leather-centric #Diesel Tribute capsule ahead of the Venice show. And the twenty-piece clothing and accessories range—a follow-up to November’s denim capsule of the same name—embodies the designer’s iconoclastic outlook. “We are elegant rebels, modern-day rebels, and I think leather sums that up,” said Formichetti of the collection. A nod to Diesel’s archive, the outing comprises a zip-front body-con leather dress; a stud-embellished vest; jeans; tees; and jersey denim bombers, pants, and intimates that ooze all the toughness of leather but offer a little more comfort. The centerpieces, however, are a hand-stitched patchwork leather bomber and matching pants. “I didn’t want to do something super-trendy, and we can’t make it very cheap,” said Formichetti of the collection, which is priced between $120 for a T-shirt and $3,800 for those patched-up pants. “You know, fast fashion is cool and inexpensive, but after a couple of months, it falls apart. I wanted to do something more timeless, something that will last and remain in your wardrobe.”

Diesel Campaign

#Diesel Tribute Leather debuts exclusively here in a campaign by Nick Knight, which he shot entirely on his iPhone. “It was all about apps and doing everything instantly on set,” said Formichetti, who famously launched his reign at Diesel with a robust social media initiative. As for the cast, Formichetti tapped the same breed of staunch individual that he has featured in previous advertising efforts. (His first accessories campaign was fronted by stripper-turned-rapper Brooke Candy, and Diesel’s recent We Are Connected ads starred Jillian Mercado—a striking 26-year-old blogger with muscular dystrophy—and her wheelchair.) “They’re people we found on Tumblr—some friends, friends of friends, models, you know, a good mix,” said Formichetti when quizzed on his fresh faces. “Pulling these unsung heroes is [important], and I think it’s so cool that Diesel’s brave enough to support them because, you know, the fashion world is crazy.”

Diesel Campaign

As for the forthcoming Fall ’14 collection, Formichetti hinted that it’s going to be a blend of the house’s signature denim and leather, but on steroids. “I’m doing an über version of my last two capsules for the show,” he said over the yelping of his two dogs, Tank and Bambi. The pups had just gotten back from a trip to L.A., where they were, as Formichetti put it, “retreating for the winter.” Once the barking stopped, he added, “Fall is all about going back to the basics—something that you would want to wear every day. But, of course, it’s me, so you’re going to get a bit of fantasy there, too.”

The #Diesel Tribute Leather Collection will be available at Diesel stores worldwide from February 1.

Photos: Nick Knight

With Strip Shows and Shibari, Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti and Brooke Candy Take Tokyo

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Brooke Candy

Does Nicola Formichetti ever miss Mugler? “No, I don’t,” he said from the back of a chauffeured car in his native Tokyo last week. And why would he? In his new job as Diesel’s artistic director, Formichetti is not only allowed, but encouraged, to let his signature freak flag fly. “Before Diesel, people used to tell me to turn down the volume,” he recalled. “But [Diesel founder] Renzo [Rosso] always tells me to go crazier. No one’s ever said that to me before.”

Formichetti has scores of potentially crazy upcoming projects for the brand, like capsule denim and leather collections and his very first Diesel runway show, which will be held in a yet-to-be-determined city this March. But his latest efforts—a Japanese Shibari rope bondage-inspired accessories collection and a burlesque-style ad campaign staring rebel rapper Brooke Candy and model Tessa Kuragi—are easily his craziest to date. Featuring Kuragi and Candy, a former stripper, flexing round a silver pole while showing off Diesel’s Spring ’14 wares, the Inez & Vinoodh-lensed images and corresponding film are bound to raise some eyebrows. But on Friday night, Formichetti firmly asserted his role as fashion’s primo provocateur with an X-rated launch party at Tokyo’s Tabloid. Upon entering, guests were ushered through a bona fide sex shop stocked with handcuffs, pearl-studded ball gags, fringed whips, and various other erotic toys. Beyond the accessories installation, which included Diesel’s leather-cage booties, harness-embellished bags, bullet-studded totes, and metallic brogues, were rooms peppered with exotic dancers in black lace lingerie. Meanwhile, in a red-lit space downstairs, nearly nude experts demonstrated the aforementioned art of Shibari to the sound of a harpsichord. Their colleagues, dressed in bottom-baring gowns, lace-up boots, or hot pants, watched on their hands and knees from locked cages.

It was a night that we won’t soon be able to forget, but considering the controversial reputation that Candy has built since commencing her career two years ago, the explicit event felt apropos.

Brooke Candy and Tessa Kuragi

I first met Diesel’s new face at dinner on Thursday night. She descended the stairs of the Park Hyatt’s Kozue restaurant about an hour late, wearing a neon fuchsia wig, the label’s Spring stilettos, black arm-length gloves, and pair of latex thigh-high stockings. All this was topped with a poufy hot pink frock, which would have been positively princesslike were it not completely sheer. Accompanied by her best friend and personal designer, Seth Pratt (having also worked with Azealia Banks, he’s created Candy’s outré ensembles from the beginning), the 24-year-old musician had just flown in from L.A., where she was shooting her new Diesel-funded music video. “It’s a period piece that taps into politics, religion, and female oppression,” said Candy the following day, explaining that the narrative film follows a gang of sister wives who shed their clothes, rise up against their husband, and fight for freedom. “I’m a feminist,” she added. “Any woman who says she’s not doesn’t know what’s happening.”

With a look akin to a post-apocalyptic sex robot (not to mention song lyrics like “I wanna fuck right now”), Candy isn’t your average feminist. But her fearless aesthetic, and often shocking sexual expression, are at the center of her quest for girl power. “You have to have a message when you’re doing it,” she said, referring to her penchant for nudity. “I have an agenda. I’m queer, I’m a feminist, and I’ve said that from the beginning. But once you’re a product of the [music] industry, and you’re getting naked for no reason, then you become an object.”

“She’s speaking the language of now,” said Formichetti, who discovered Candy while watching her dance in Grimes’ Genesis video. “She looks like a creature from another planet, which is kind of my thing, and I love the fact that she raps and dances like a pole dancer—she’s fresh, she’s very smart, and she knows what she’s doing.”

Flanked by two acrobatic strippers, Candy took the stage two hours into Diesel’s raucous fete. She donned little more than a black leather harness and heels (which she kicked off halfway through the set), and screamed obscenities at the audience while flipping her pastel dreads. No doubt, she’s her own woman, and proud of it. Continue Reading “With Strip Shows and Shibari, Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti and Brooke Candy Take Tokyo” »

Diesel Wants Candy

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Diesel Campaign

If you didn’t catch her flipping her pink cornrows in Grimes’ Genesis music video, perhaps you’ve heard her single, I Wanna Fuck Right Now, or seen her posing in gilded chains and breast-baring tees. Move over, Miley—rapper Brooke Candy is the latest controversial femme to hit the music scene, and Diesel’s artistic director and resident rebel, Nicola Formichetti, has tapped her to star in the brand’s sexed-up Spring ’14 accessories campaign. “As a rapper, performer, muse, and stripper, Brooke Candy is an artist who has unique access to every social level,” said Formichetti. “She traverses class systems and defies racial and sexual stereotypes.”

Candy, who features alongside brooding beauty Tessa Kuragi in the Inez & Vinoodh-lensed images, strikes a racy pose while clutching Diesel’s studded black leather tote. Meanwhile, Kuragi arches against a stripper pole, showing off a pair of leather booties and a harness-embellished bag.

“Sexiness is one of Diesel’s most iconic attributes,” said Formichetti of Spring’s severe, heady look. “There’s something industrial about Diesel that is also very erotic, so it makes sense to push eroticism aggressively. It’s leather, so it’s tactile, sensual, and strong. It’s physical and also an attitude.”

The range’s wares (which will hit stores in November) were inspired in part by Shibari—a form a Japanese rope bondage. With that in mind, it’s only sensible that Diesel would plan an all out bash (complete with a performance by Candy) in Formichetti’s native Tokyo to celebrate the launch. Check back next week for a rundown of Friday’s party. In the meantime, take a peek at the new accessories ads, which make their debut exclusively above.

Photo: Inez & Vinoodh, Courtesy of Diesel

Hood By Air Hits the UK

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Selfridges Host Hood By Air for London Collections: Men

Few brands command such a cult following as New York-based Hood By Air. Helmed by Shayne Oliver, the label has acquired such a cool crew of fans that the mighty retailer Selfridges cherry-picked it to be one of the twenty brands featured in the department store’s new men’s contemporary concept floor, which, opening this week, will offer plenty of street, skate, and attitude.

By way of celebration, then, last night the Selfridges parking garage was transformed into a skate-park-cum-nightclub, and on display were pieces from HBA’s Spring ’14 collection with an Anglo twist. The label partnered with British heritage knitwear brand Corgi to create some sumptuous one-offs. “I wanted to collaborate with a brand that was steeped in tradition,” explained Oliver. “The idea was to pull together a contrast between that and our rebellious nature. You know, that old craftsmanship and handmade stuff. That’s something that we lack a little bit in America, and I wanted to work with a brand that represented the opposite of fast fashion. It was a little tribute to our coming to the UK and to Selfridges.” Continue Reading “Hood By Air Hits the UK” »