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Breaking In

Diesel and its partners talk about the fashion brand's journey into the interiors market and their first-ever comprehensive product presentation in New York City this past September.

By AnnMarie Martin

Diesel and its partners talk about the fashion brand's journey into the interiors market and their first-ever comprehensive product presentation in New York City this past September.

It’s been a few years in the making, but the Successful Living from Diesel home collection has finally come full circle.

The fashion brand known for its irreverent attitude first moved into the interiors market in 2008 with a line of home textiles produced by Zucchi. “It was the field closest to our expertise and tradition,” explains Andrea Rosso, creative director of Diesel Licenses.

Zucchi has the exclusive rights to the production and distribution of all Diesel home and bed linen products through 2015. These include towels, duvet cover sets, furnishing cushion covers, throws and blankets.

In 2009, Diesel added lighting with Foscarini and furniture with Moroso to their roster, and in 2012, they presented the Diesel Social Kitchen with Scavolini, allowing them to completely canvas the home—and many commercial spaces, for that matter—from top to bottom.

Diesel released the Fall/Winter 2013 edition of Successful Living from Diesel at Salone del Mobile in April, and this past September the entire grouping was presented in New York City as a whole for the very first time in the United States. Guests were treated to a design tour of SoHo as they moved from showroom to showroom to view the lines as a united front (Zucchi products were on display at the Moroso showroom).

“We wanted to show everyone working together,” says Mirko van den Winkel, executive vice president of Moroso USA. “In other words, all aspects of the Diesel lifestyle. Adding the others was really great for the entire brand.”

“The idea of the home collection comes from the desire to expand our philosophy and lifestyle,” Rosso says. “The Diesel identity is expressed through the elements that inspire our fashion collections. We wanted to recall [the fashion collections’] typical vintage spirit.”

Rosso identifies the Diesel iconic core values as “rebelliousness, irony and irreverence,” all of which have been translated into their interiors lines. “What began as a denim brand has now become a complete lifestyle.”

But the company couldn’t make that happen without the right partners, and Diesel made sure all of their names were celebrated just as much as their own. “It’s not like normal licensing where one company basically buys the rights to use another company’s name; it is really a strong cooperation between both brands on all levels,” says van den Winkel.

“The Diesel Home Collection is a ‘social’ project itself,” Rosso explains. “Our home is the place where we receive friends; it represents ourselves and tells our style.” Just as the line itself is based on our social nature, Diesel wanted its partnerships to do the same, with a focus on tight collaborations and constant communication.

“It helps that Diesel and Foscarini headquarters are within an hour from each other!” says Carlo Urbinati, co-founder and co-managing director of Foscarini. He notes that the project represented an interesting dichotomy for the company; while both brands are committed to a “contemporary aesthetic and design innovation,” Diesel is vastly different from Foscarini in its “rebellious, edgy tone.”

While the Diesel creative team conceived all of the collection’s designs, Foscarini consulted heavily on materials and technologies. “Substantial metals, sleek finishes, contrasting materials, complicated glass works and flawless execution are all hallmarks of Foscarini that shine through the collection,” says Urbinati.

The Diesel Social Kitchen by Scavolini features similar materials and surfaces, but treated to achieve a vintage aesthetic. Glass doors are available with wired glass for an old-fashioned effect and oak doors are processed to provide a natural, knotted look. The modularity of the kitchen’s units and fittings provides a more modern element for today’s designers.

There are also a number of references to Diesel fashions within the lighting arm of the Successful Living line. The more recent release of Soft Power sports a pattern resembling acid-washed jeans. Drumbox is inspired by lights used during photo shoots and Fork features heavy stitching. Bright colors and the use of metals all capture the youthful appeal of the Diesel brand, bringing Foscarini closer to a younger and broader demographic outside of its core audience.

While this was Foscarini’s first collaboration with a fashion brand, that was not the case for Moroso, which has worked with several other notable labels in the past, including Issey Miyake, Thom Ford and John Galliano. “The fabrics on our furniture have always been so important to Moroso, being such a creative company in the upholstery field,” van den Winkel explains.

Like its partnership with Foscarini, Diesel developed its original designs for the Moroso furniture pieces in the collection by working hand-in-hand with Patrizia Moroso. Her company then built the prototypes; both teams worked tirelessly to finalize the perfect details for each piece.

“Both companies look at it as the creative process being the most important part, and it’s amazing to see that this is really followed through at the highest level,” van den Winkel says.

“We’d been looking for partners who were the best players in their own fields, with a specific know-how,” Rosso says. “And we definitely succeeded.”