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Interview: Nicola Formichetti #DIESELTRIBUTE

Thursday 14 November 2013

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Words Lizzie

Nicola Formichetti has never been afraid of pushing the boundaries. He is the man who dressed Gaga in meat and convinced Rick Genest (the guy covered in a skeleton tattoo), who he found on Facebook, to model for Mugler. Parting ways with both Gaga (apparently she changes 12 times a day) and Mugler, Nicola is now Artistic Director at Diesel. Spindle headed to the launch of Nicola’s #DIESELTRIBUTE collection in Covent Garden to interview the man himself.

The #DIESELTRIBUTE collection pays homage to Diesel’s DNA: leather and denim. Elements were sourced from over 35 years of Diesel archives and Nicola has created a mixture of mens and womenswear apparel and accessories embellished with spikes, sewn on badges, patched denim, leather collars and metalware. In collaboration with British photographer Nick Knight, the campaign’s imagery was shot entirely on iPhone and features the new Diesel tribe (selected by Nicola) who are adorned with tattoos and radiate sexual energy (probably because they are mostly only wearing underwear).

After waiting quite a while to interview Nicola, I had 5 minutes and about 100 questions to ask:

What does social media mean to you? and how important do you think it is for a brand to be vocal across social media platforms?
For me it is part of our life. It is part of who we are as a human being. It is like wearing underwear – you have to and should be on social media platforms. For me it was a very obvious thing for Diesel to do – to be digitally active and I wanted to push Diesel more and more creatively.

Can you tell us about your Diesel experience so far ?
So I started six months ago. Which is crazy because I feel like we have done so much already. I have created two capsule collections, three campaigns – the speed is insane. I’m quick but it is great to have a company behind you who can support you and that is because of Renso Rosso who really believes in me.


You call upon the public a lot during this campaign with the ‘missions’ you set…
I wanted to see how people answer questions and what they could do with the questions asked. I ultimately wanted to find talent through my missions. It is almost like an exam and I am finding amazing talent. I am so happy about that. I have found two amazing photographers and one graphic designer. I source and find talent and I want them to become part of the Diesel Army. I am only one person, I can’t do it all alone.

One of your mission questions is: What have you destroyed lately? Can you answer that for us?
I collect all the old iPhones and computers and I want to do a picture of all of my collection completely smashed up. WAAAAA like throw everything on the concrete floor.

Lastly, about the capsule collection…
The Tribute collection was inspired by Diesel’s history and not specific pieces. I found all these amazing buttons and badges that I could customise onto already existing garments. The garments reflect a ‘patchwork’ of Diesel’s history.

Nicola then spent some time asking about Spindle and when I told him it was a magazine devoted to up and coming talent, his response was; “That’s fabulous”. His collection is available at the Covent Garden store and is limited edition. Check out the images below – like the campaign, I took them all with my iPhone.

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Words: Lizzie Ashby
Illustration: Alexa Grace Coe