Born into the Diesel brand, Stefano Rosso is charged with rebooting the brand's profile in one of the trickiest markets that exist.
Since coming on board as Diesel’s CEO of North America in 2017, Stefano Rosso has been tasked with elevating the Italian denim brand’s U.S. image among streetwear-loving, social media-obsessed millennials and Gen Zers. And he’s doing so in ways that stay true to the brand’s collaborative nature and reputation for clever marketing.
In the past year, Diesel has churned out upcycled collections with Los Angeles-based retailer RCNSTRCT Studio and invited up-and-coming designers during New York Fashion Week: Men’s to reimagine iconic pieces from the brand’s archives.
Diesel also launched Diesel Red Tag Project, a collaborative diffusion line with a new up-and-coming designer each season, like Hood by Air designer Shayne Oliver and Y/Project designer (and fellow member of Rivet’s 50 Influential) Glenn Martens.
And in its boldest marketing stunt in years, Diesel bootlegged itself (and highlighted the absurdity of hype brands) by opening a temporary store on New York City’s infamous Canal Street to hawk its own knockoffs.
“One of the most successful marketing moves that earned Diesel major street cred was opening its own knockoff pop-up store on Canal Street,” said Melissa Moylan, Fashion Snoops VP, creative, womenswear. “Gucci Mane kicked off the opening of ‘Deisel’ where the brand sold one-of-a-kind goods, very much on par with how streetwear labels like Supreme do limited edition product drops.”
The goods—complete with misspelled logos—drew a streetwear crowd that lined the block in order to own a piece of Diesel history.