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WWD News: Diesel’s Rosso Looks to Fresh Approaches

Diesel’s Rosso Looks to Fresh Approaches



MILAN ??” Change is gaining momentum at Diesel.

Starting with the spring season, chairman Renzo Rosso said Diesel will be available at 50 Macy??™s doors ??” returning to the retailer after a four-year absence. A new chief executive officer and a new creative director could be selected in the next few weeks, and for the first time the premium denim and streetwear company will exhibit at the international trade show Bread & Butter in Berlin in January, where it will unveil a shop-in-shop concept planned to roll out globally next year. In addition, there will be to a runway show of the brand??™s fall men??™s and women??™s collections on Jan. 20.

???We think this will be a good window for us,??? Rosso told WWD.

???This is our first creative project applied to multibrand distribution,??? he said of the shop-in-shop concept. It will be ???warm, understated and rock??? ??” resembling a stage.

After the exit last week of Steve Birkhold as ceo of Diesel USA to become ceo of Devanlay U.S. Inc., the licensee for Lacoste apparel, Rosso said the company??™s U.S. branch ???is very solid??? and reiterated his commitment to that market.

Conceding it was ???a tough moment??? in the U.S. because of the recession, Rosso said Diesel has grown almost 2 percent this year in the country, adding he expected double-digit gains in 2010. Diesel will continue investing in the U.S. and has earmarked an increase in Diesel??™s communication budget for the U.S. of 7 to 10 percent next year.

Rosso said investments made in 2009, such as the opening of Diesel??™s 20,000-square-foot flagship on New York??™s Fifth Avenue, doubling the brand??™s space in Miami and the relocation of stores in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., will help support growth next year. Sales in the U.S. totaled 200 million euros, or $298.3 million at current exchange, in 2009 and accounted for about 15 percent of the brand??™s total revenues.

???I grew up with the American dream, and I will continue to believe in the U.S.,??? Rosso said.

In an interview with WWD in late October, Birkhold said denim sales were down in the single digits this year, and fashion apparel shrank in the double digits. These declines were partly offset by strength in the footwear, accessories and underwear businesses, which offer a lower price point entry to the Diesel brand. Diesel has emphasized expanding its offerings in lower price ranges, with some jeans selling for $110.

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Posted Nov 25 2009 in Uncategorized

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