ELLE Exclusive: Nicola Formichetti’s Diesel debut


ELLE Exclusive: Nicola Formichetti’s Diesel debut

Music, fashion and the '90s vibe came together for the artistic director’s first show

By Shruti Thacker  April 4th, 2014

Venice was transformed into a masquerade ball last night when Nicola Formichetti, artistic director of Diesel, showcased his debut collection for the cult denim brand.

Models wore ski masks complete with colourful fur mohawks and pom-poms depicting panda heads (a Formichetti signature, as he used to be called Nico Panda by his friends because of his Asian heritage). The show (and the collection) was built upon three ‘Diesel Icons’: Leather-Rock ‘n’ Roll, Denim and Military-Utility. “This collection is almost like going back to where I began as a stylist, when I first moved from Italy to London; being young, looking at global fashion from Italy, Japan and London, all places where the street was key. I wanted to have that feeling back, that Nineties feeling of a world of possibilities, that feeling when I discovered Diesel. It was fun, it was fashion and non-fashion – it was beyond fashion,” says Formichetti. With leather jackets, tie-dye jeans, acid-wash jeans, embellished dresses and parkas for both sexes, each section was interspersed with a film by photographer Nick Knight, professional dancers along with choreographer and former Royal Ballet principal Ivan Putrov and a live performance by Brooke Candy.

ELLE chatted with the artistic director about Diesel, his dream collaboration and all things digital.

ELLE: Tell us about Diesel’s Fall/Winter 2014-15 collection.

NICOLA FORMICHETTI: This collection is all about looking back to go forward, it’s the foundation collection based on the Diesel DNA of denim, leather and military. The inspiration for both menswear and womenswear is the same. I believe in unisex and I like that are at the core products of Diesel such as a pair of jeans, a leather jacket and a military parka all have a unisex approach.

ELLE: Why did you choose to showcase in Venice?

NF: This is the home of Diesel, it’s a global company but Venice is where its heart is. I love being on the water and walking endlessly at night in this city.

ELLE: What’s your favourite piece form the collection?

NF: There are a lot of Venice souvenir items such as hoodies and sweatshirts for both and women, which I love because the collection has a sense of place. It’s like a postcard from Venice. 

ELLE: Name a song that sums up the collection.

NF: ‘Army of lovers’ by Crucify.

ELLE: What has been a highlight in your career?

NF: I have achieved so many of my dreams – although I don’t want to sound like Miss World with that.

ELLE: Who would you love to collaborate with?

NF: The Illuminati. 

ELLE: What is a day in the life of Nicola Formichetti like?

NF: I’m a great multi-tasker, I play with my dogs, I exercise and I work. Then I Instagram it all.

ELLE: You have pioneered Diesel into a digital world. What do you think is the place of technology in the world of fashion?

NF: For fashion, it’s not only about technology. There has to be a balance between the physical and digital world.

ELLE: Is there any social media platform you would like to see invented?

NF: I already have too many social media platforms to feed! But I love discovering new apps, especially for photography.