Diesel S.p.A. is an Italian based designer clothing company which produces apparel aimed at the lucrative 18 to 35 years old market. Diesel also creates a kids and sportswear line.
The company was founded by Renzo Rosso and his former boss Adriano Goldschmied (of the AG Jeans company) in 1978. Diesel's milestone years include 1985 (Renzo's complete acquisition of the company), 1991 (beginning of the international marketing strategy) and 1996 (opening of Diesel's first flagship store on New York City's Lexington Avenue).
Most of Diesel's current production is outsourced to small and medium-sized companies. Production of denim jeans is based mainly in Italy. The headquarters are located in Molvena, in the north-eastern part of Italy, where the company manages 17 subsidiaries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The company owns more than 200 retail outlets worldwide and also wholesales to better retail boutiques and department stores, and has around 3,500 employees. Annual sales are approximately € 1.2 Billion according to 2005 figures.
Denim sales make up the core of the Diesel S.p.A. brand's business.
Brands like Diesel are part of a surge of small denim-based brands like True Religion, Seven for all Mankind, Rock and Republic and Paper Denim & Cloth to name a few. There are said to be over 700 denim-based brands in existence to date according to fashion industry trade-magazine Women's Wear Daily [WWD].
The Diesel name is licensed to other companies to produce footwear, leather goods, eye wear, jewelry, wristwatches produced by major time-piece brand and company Fossil, as well as fragrances (held by mega beauty company L'Oreal), and other accessories for men and women. In February 2007, the company launched a major intimates and beachwear division for men and women that is carried in the retail and department stores. The license is held by the US company Mast Industries Inc. who also produces lingerie for Victoria's Secret.
Diesel has attracted press attention with controversial advertising campaigns. The most recent (Spring/Summer 2007) dubbed "Global Warming Ready" featuring images of cities such as Paris, London and Venice after global warming has taken place. The image for Paris shows the Eiffel Tower surrounded by a tropical rainforest with a man walking a lizard.
In recent years the company has driven its attention to the youth market, by sponsoring several projects such as the Diesel-U-Music Contest or the Diesel Wall artistic programme, marketing their clothing in video games, or being main partner of a ITS Fashion Accessories and Photo competition ITS International Talent Supportor by participating in other actions, such as the 2006 edition of Life Ball, the Sundance Film Festival.
Pete Wentz, Rihanna, Pixie Geldof, Kate Moss, Charlotte Dutton, Britney Spears,