Through his holding company Only The Brave created in 2002, Italian fashion entrepreneur Renzo Rosso has acquired a collection of brands through his holding company, which includes Maison 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.
Born to a family of farmers, fashion first piqued Rosso’s interest when he crafted his first item of clothing: bell-bottom pants using his mother’s sewing machine. In the late 1970s, his career took off 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 developed it over the next decade, through provocative advertising campaigns, into one of the most sought-after denim brands in the industry.
In 2002, Rosso acquired a majority share of Maison Margiela , as the then 14-year-old brand approached him seeking a reconstruction of its business model, which Rosso supplied by diversifying the brand’s product ranges and opening new stores that offered bags, perfume, sunglasses and other accessories. In upscaling the French luxury fashion house into an international name, sales more than doubled for the brand as a result.
As Diesel jeans fell of the radar of fashion relevance in recent years, Rosso appointed Nicola Formichetti as the brand’s creative director. Serving the post at the French Fashion house Mugler two years prior, Formichetti received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the 2010 British Fashion Awards.
In 2000, Only The Brave added Staff International, a manufacturing and distribution company, striking licencing and production deals with a slew of both internal and external retailers including Maison Margiela, Dsquared2, Vivienne Westwood and Just Cavalli in 2011. The houses are situated globally in Milan, Paris and Amsterdam. In 2011, the company struck out into the childrenswear ground, producing and distributing childrens’ apparel for Diesel and Dsquared, followed shortly with a collaboration with the Italian fashion house Trussardi to launch its first Autumn/Winter 2017/2018 collection for Trussardi Junior.
In 2013, Only the Brave rebranded itself to the OTB group, as a measure to create distance and distinguish itself from diesel as a joint-stock company with an independent international brand image.
In 2018, Diesel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with an estimated $50 million in debt. The effect relayed into OTP’s consolidated sales, falling by 3.2 percent. Independent of this, OTP expressed interest in investing in the struggling brand Roberto Cavalli in early April 2019, though no deal was officially struck.