by Amanda Kaiser // November 19, 2010 // WWD.COM
Diesel’s evolution beyond denim into an edgy and irreverent lifestyle brand is on full display at its new flagship here.
As to be expected, there are plenty of jeans washed and sandblasted to achieve every imaginable effect. But the store is also home to a café, an exhibition space and a corner selling Diesel’s recently launched home collection, which includes a goose down filled sofa and bedding printed with photos of vintage stereo equipment.
“It’s not just that you’re going in somewhere to buy clothes, you are entering an atmosphere, the reality of a brand,” said Diesel founder and president Renzo Rosso in the WWD interview, who hosted a mini hot dog-fueled party Thursday night to fete the store. “It’s an environment in which people can hang out.”
The two-level flagship opened to the public on last Saturday. It makes its home in the bustling shopping an entertainment district of Shibuya in a building that also houses a Tommy Hilfiger, multi-brand boutique Tomorrowland and some other retailers and restaurants. Once shoppers make their way past a cluster of slot machines stocked with play tokens, they can take in the brand’s full range of men’s and women’s denim, apparel, handbags, eyewear, watches and other accessories. Prices range from about ¥7,140 for a t-shirt to ¥28,350 for a pair of jeans blacked with a coal-type effect.
The store also carries some limited edition items exclusive to the store, including sold or silver high-top sneakers and a jacket made from raw denim that is supposed to age 10 times faster than the standard indigo-dyed fabric. The Glorious Chain Café serves up hearty fare like pancakes, eggs benedict, ice cream sandwiches as well as glasses of Rosso’s own wine.
Market conditions in Japan are very difficult at the moment but Diesel is faring considerably better than many other fashion brands and its sales in Japan, its largest market, grew 7% last year to €220 million, or about $300 million. The brand has not cut its prices on specific items but it has adjusted its merchandizing mix to have more products at entry-level price points. Diesel is aware of the importance of developing engaging stores and nurturing close relationships with customers through online platforms....