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September 2 2014

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31 posts tagged "Diesel"

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

Andreas Melbostad, Diesel Black Gold To Present Menswear At Pitti In January

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Andreas Melbostad

Andreas Melbostad, designer of the late, lamented Phi, joined Diesel in 2012 as the creative director of its designer collection, Diesel Black Gold. After a few successful seasons, it was announced recently that he’ll take control of DBG’s menswear, too, and his first collection will have a big platform: the 85th edition of Pitti Uomo in Florence this January. “I will enforce the core codes of the collection with my own sensibility and hand,” Melbostad said in a statement.

Photo: Fabio Iona / Indigitalimages.com

A League of Their Own

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Renzo RossoAnyone who’s been watching the ready-to-wear shows knows that athleticism is the thing for Spring (gym gear at Gucci, soccer socks at Prada, mesh galore at Pucci, et alia). But in an interview with Reuters this weekend, Diesel founder (and ruler of the OTB empire) Renzo Rosso made a more conceptual connection between the worlds of fashion and sport. “Fashion is like soccer. Only champions make a difference,” he said when asked about LVMH’s recent investment in J.W. Anderson and Nicholas Kirkwood—two brands he had reportedly been following for the past couple of years. “We also considered investing in them, but we never expected LVMH to move so quickly,” he added. With big companies once again championing up-and-comers (Kering just invested in Altuzarra and, of course, bought a 51 percent stake in Christopher Kane in January), the game is definitely on. Here’s to the next generation of winning talents.

Photo: Jocelyn Bain Hogg/ Style.com Print

Federico Marchetti Adds Art to Yoox’s Oeuvre

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Federico MarchettiThe impressive second-quarter results posted recently by the Yoox Group, Italy’s e-commerce giant, was further proof that the future of high fashion lies online. But can CEO Federico Marchetti (left) work the same magic with fine art? It has been on his mind since he launched Yoox fourteen years ago. “I’ve always had the notion of the one-stop shop, with a mixture of modern and vintage, clothes and furniture,” he says. “The art component is the one that closes the circle.”

Marchetti tested the waters last October with Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, and the first-ever edition by Italy’s top Pop artist Francesco Vezzoli. “He did it to help earthquake relief in Emilia-Romagna, where I’m from,” explains Marchetti. “We did an edition of 399 priced at 399 euros, dollars, or pounds.” Yoox is now providing corporate sponsorship for Vezzoli’s Trinity, a series of three exhibitions in three cities, the first in Rome now until November 24, the second opening at New York’s MoMA PS1 in the fall, and the third at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. in early winter.

But any multimillion-dollar business can cough up sponsorship dollars. It was Padiglione Crepaccio (below), the much humbler Yoox initiative during the opening days of the Venice Biennale, which cast a more interesting light on Marchetti’s intentions in the art world. Curator Caroline Corbetta assembled work by ten Venetian artists under 30—the sort of creative types who are usually overlooked when the Biennale’s grand caravan rolls into town every two years—and exhibited the result in the house where three of them live. (A very nice piece of old Venice it was, too, calculated to make starving artists everywhere else in the world utterly puce with envy.) The twist was that the exhibition preview was online. “Like Saatchi, but in reverse,” says Marchetti. “Everyone else got to see it online before the art-world elite got there.” Which didn’t stop heavy hitters like Vezzoli, Diesel’s Renzo Rosso, and cherished art-world provocateur Maurizio Cattelan (a patron saint to young Italian artists) from showing up in person at the opening.

Padiglione Crepaccio at Yoox.comWith his Acne jeans and his Lobb shoes, Marchetti is almost correct when he describes himself as the Yoox customer. And he was setting a good example by shopping for art at Padiglione Crepaccio. (In keeping with the initiative, it was only possible to buy the pieces on the iPads provided, even if you were standing right in front of the art and the artist). Right now, Marchetti is picturing art on Yoox as “something like a TV talent show, 99 percent talent, 1 percent the special X factor.” But going forward, he imagines people picking up “a pair of jeans and a painting” when they visit the site. “It’s part of the plan to make yoox.com a playful lifestyle,” he adds. “But playful in a serious way. It’s not the Amazon approach. We’re serious about collaboration.” Serious enough, in fact, to partner with the legendary photo agency Magnum—its first venture into e-commerce—and Hirst’s publishing company, Other Criteria.

But when Marchetti insists, “Surprise is the beauty of Yoox,” I flip back to the young artists in Venice, in particular a painter called Thomas Braida. With talent like his in the equation, people are going to be picking up way more than one painting with their pair of jeans.

Photos: David Needleman (Federico Marchetti); Courtesy of Yoox