The Jeans Genius talks Jeddah, Diesel and advertising.
Meet Renzo Rosso, president of OTB Group; the parent company of fashion brands Maison Martin Margiela, Diesel, Viktor & Rolf, Bravekid and Staff International. Known as the Jeans Genius, he put Diesel’s distressed, washed and torn jeans firmly on the map.
What do you think of Jeddah?
Last night, I toured Al Balad. I love the many little stores, the Hijazi architecture, the beautiful carpets and the busyness; an exciting vibe. I even took pictures of T-shirts with traditional decorations.
What inspires you?
Everything. When I have an idea, it’s given to the style office and the creative teams work with it as a direction.
Your take on advertising and marketing is different from others. Most brands feature celebrity faces and IT girls in their campaigns, but not yours.
If you are using celebs, it is not you talking, but the celebrity. We want our product to talk and this is why we go with normal people who are not so normal. It’s more loyal and relatable to the consumer.
Would you think of customizing Diesel’s collections just for our region?
When you listen to music, if you don’t hear the same song as everyone else, you feel like you come second. So I want to use one tone of language globally, because we are for everyone, but I like the idea of doing special customizations for certain regions.
That would be great! Like the abaya?
I have to tell you, over the last few days, I have seen the abayas and I am thinking of doing something.
What else sets Diesel apart from others?
When you choose something, you choose for an occasion. We just opened Diesel Aoyama Tokyo with denim wedding dresses. Wherever you go, Diesel has the right product for you.
In a box or pull out quote:
“Cool, smart, rebellious and modern,” is how Rosso describes Diesel.
Location: Amir Muhammad Ibn Abdul Aziz St., Off Tahlia St.