Renzo Rosso has been a busy man of late – shaking things up at his numerous fashion labels.
A few weeks ago we reported that Nicola Formichetti was leaving Thierry Mugler – having found a new home with Italian denim and fashion house Diesel, which was founded by Rosso.
The news was announced on Diesel’s website via a lively video montage featuring Rosso and Formichetti.
In an interview with Rosso two years ago, I found the unconventional fashion mogul, who built an empire from distressed denims in the ‘90s, to be one of the most forward-thinking figures in the industry.
As casual fashion inches into the realm of high fashion, he has expanded his empire by acquiring brands such as Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf. But this is no fleeting affair – he’s even had the logos tattooed on his body.
Rosso’s racy ad campaigns for Diesel have caused excitement and controversy, something that he clearly relishes. So the appointment of Formichetti, who shot to fame through his work at edgy British magazine Dazed & Confused, is a fitting choice.
Formichetti’s work at Mugler was great for the brand’s image, though many critics saw that he was more of an image maker than designer (he had a head designer for both his men’s and women’s lines to lean on).
Image-making is Formichetti’s strength – he is, after all, a stylist to Lady Gaga – which will serve Diesel well.
Its new artistic director will bring to the hip label even more knowledge about what what is thought of as cool among today’s fickle fashion customers.
I believe the fit between Formichetti and Diesel will be a far more fruitful one than his work at Mugler – no doubt some creative projects are already in the pipeline.
In other news from the Rosso empire, Viktor & Rolf has announced its return to haute couture after 13 years away. The Amsterdam duo, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, have seen their creative clout suffer in recent years.
Despite some interesting show concepts, the ready-to-wear has seemed out-of-touch and not all that flattering or commercial.
So perhaps it’s high time for the brand to revive that old magic. When people talk about Viktor & Rolf’s most famous shows, they usually refer to the Russian Doll show in 1999 where model Maggie Rizer wore 10 layers of clothing, removing each layer one by one.
Hopefully they will have something just as creative up their sleeves for the comeback.
Rosso’s motto is “Only the Brave” – and this season, he is certainly living by it.