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Diesel Appoints Former Balmain Executive as CEO

Rivet’s 2021 winter issue has dropped! This in-depth issue examines the steps the global denim industry is taking to minimize its impact on the environment, from implementing zero waste production and design processes to establishing greenhouse gas emissions goals aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Massimo Piombini is ringing in the new year with a new role. The former CEO of Balmain was just appointed CEO of Diesel, and will join the company in February 2020.

Piombini brings with him decades of experience at luxury fashion brands such as Valentino, Bally, Bulgari and Gucci. During his three years at Balmain, he played a crucial role in expanding its audience, including its partnership with Puma.

In his new role, Piombini will lead the company of 5,000 employees in a journey back to its roots—a move recently initiated by Diesel founder Renzo Rosso after a period of declining sales.

“Diesel is a unique brand that stands for self-expression, creativity and alternative energy,” Rosso said. “An icon that changed the industry with its lifestyle approach, pioneering product and revolutionary communication, and a company that I recently took back to its roots, which is already giving very positive results. I wish Massimo to fuel its engine and take it where it deserves to be.”

Piombini joins the company during a time of transition for the brand. After filing for bankruptcy protection in March 2019, Rosso made staffing changes and pivoted business strategies to lead the brand’s comeback—and it worked. By summer, Diesel was profitable again and saw 7 percent more foot traffic in stores.

The brand is now back to producing edgy marketing campaigns and buzzworthy products. Most recently, it broke into real estate, selling luxury condos in Miami’s Wynwood district, and unveiling a humorous campaign to accompany it.