Through his holding company Only The Brave, Italian fashion mogul Renzo Rosso has acquired a collection of brands, which includes Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Marni and the group’s most significant revenue generator, Diesel. The group’s total revenues are in excess of €1.5 billion.
Rosso’s career started in the late 1970s, when he co-founded Diesel with denim legend Adriano Goldschmied at the age of 20. In 1985, Rosso took control of the Diesel brand himself and over the next decade developed it, through provocative advertising campaigns and sexy cuts, into one of the most successful and highly sought after denim brands in the industry.
Although Diesel jeans have lost a degree of fashion relevance in recent years, Rosso believes Diesel’s denim remains as relevant and as on-trend as ever, “It’s just a communication problem,” he told BoF. “That’s why Diesel has lost its cool.” His solution was to sign uber-stylist Nicola Formichetti as creative director. “I’ve followed Nicola Formichetti around the world. He has an incredible following, and made such a difference at Mugler from the very first show. I was incredibly impressed with the pop-up store he did in New York. I spent almost three hours inside that store! The way he arranged the clothes and the energy he brought to the space, it was great.”
Staff International, a manufacturing and distribution company, also part of OTB, works with a slew of brands both inside and outside the group. Rosso told BoF, “At Staff international, they know how to develop a product, but they work in separate ‘boxes.’ I keep the brands totally separate. DSquared2 lives in Milan. Margiela lives in Paris. Viktor & Rolf lives in Amsterdam, and they have the whole house there: the designer, the marketing, the lifestyle is there. I want to keep them totally independent. I bring the stuff for their incredible know-how and expertise, how to make synergy.”
With his modern approach, instinctual deal making and passion for the business, Rosso may make OTB the next fashion acronym known beyond the industry and in the world’s biggest financial markets.