Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Ducati and Diesel: A New Partnership in MotoGP

Monday 10 January 2011 // Toni M.

While other MotoGP teams are searching for any type of sponsor to help support their racing efforts, others or shall we say one factory team has sponsors lining up and knocking on their door, and that’s Ducati. The latest sponsor to tie up a deal with Borgo Panigale is Diesel (very expensive streetwear - a pair of their jeans sells for about € 140 here in Italy). The two ‘Made in Italy’ companies signed a two year sponsorship agreement, that will see Diesel’s Mohican logo on the fairings and leathers of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, who by a very strange coincidence were both sporting mohawks last year. This isn’t the first time that Renzo Rossi’s (no relation to Valentino) Diesel company has sponsored a racing team. The Diesel logo was on a Ducati superbike back in 1999, when the team won their first Superbike title with Raymond Roche.


An important partnership was signed in the first days of this new year between Diesel and Ducati. The two brands, known and loved all over the world, share common roots: creativity and innovation, typical of the "Made in Italy" tradition, distinct factors that have enabled both companies to assert themselves and become true Italian icons all over the world. In the constant pursuit of excellence, the lifestyle brand and the motorcycle manufacturer have earned international reputations over the years, achieving extraordinary objectives while following unconventional paths.

Through this partnership, the 2011 MOTOGP season will find Diesel's logo appearing on the bikes' fairings and tailpieces, and on the sleeves of the race suits and clothing worn by Ducati Marlboro Team's incomparable champions, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, who are ready to take to the track and compete for the premier-class title.

The agreement was signed by Renzo Rosso, President and Founder of Diesel, and Gabriele del Torchio, President of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The first step will be to feature the unmistakable Diesel mohawk head on the bikes and rider suits, a testimony of the commitment between the two companies. Following this initial phase, the coming months will see these two prestigious brands joining forces in additional projects and initiatives, coordinated on Diesel's side by Stefano Rosso, Renzo's son, who is responsible for the brand's overall strategic alliances. A passion for racing and the Ducati brand are nothing new for Renzo Rosso. The Diesel logo appeared on a desmodromic motorcycle in 1990, when Ducati earned its first World Superbike crown with rider Raymond Roche.

"I've always been a Ducati fan," said Renzo Rosso. "I've been following them during the years and I currently drive a Monster S4R testastretta and a Streetfighter. I am proud of the appreciation that the brand has gained all over the world, both in terms of design and performance. This season in particular is extraordinary, with the arrival of Valentino Rossi the association between our brands is perfectly in line with our "Only the Brave" philosophy!"

"I'm particularly proud of and pleased with this new partnership, which adds up to other significant collaborations we've made heading into this new sporting challenge," said Gabriele del Torchio. "To be joined by a ‘Made in Italy' icon like Diesel, and to have the personal support of a superfan like Renzo Rosso, can only bring additional motivation and credibility to the Ducati Marlboro Team and its great riders."

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Diesel does bikes...

November 2010. Pinarello’s technology and know-how blend with Diesel’s style and creativity to create “Only the Brave”, the brand-new urban bike to ride the world’s streets.

Single speed, light and versatile to adapt safely to all kinds of urban streets, it reminds of the American messenger bikes in its design and soul, but it is also the result of a careful study of balances and strengths - like all Pinarello models.

Pinarello works on all its creations inside its R&D lab, where the line of the bike was studied together with the Diesel Creative Team and developed by the Pinarello lab through the SOE system (Simulation Optimize Evolution). The Hydroformed Aluminium 7002 T’ used for the frame allows for an original and distinctive design, while preserving handling agility and cornering ability – two crucial features while riding urban streets.

Pinarello has a vast experience which makes it one of the leaders in this sector, dominating the international panorama in these last years and winning the latest 4 editions of the most coveted cycling award, the Best Road Bike award.

Fausto Pinarello comments:
“Pinarello and Diesel together: a perfect joint venture, two Italian brands deeply rooted in the same territory…by bike they are just two hours away! We are part of two different industries: they make people feel comfortable and we make people feel tired…but we share the typical Italian creativity and the constant desire to astonish and surprise our clients!”
Renzo Rosso, President and Founder of Diesel:
“The bike we are producing with Pinarello is simply amazing. It perfectly represents our DNA: Diesel is one of the few true lifestyle brands in the world and with our passion, energy and drive to innovate we can build together a successful story which goes beyond the usual partnerships!”
The pre-rollout of “Only the Brave” will take place in Japan, at the Cycle Mode fair in Tokyo, in the early days of November. The Urban Bike will cost 850 euro and will be available in the Diesel Green and Matt Black versions, starting from January 2011 in selected Diesel stores and at Pinarello’s resellers.


Pinarello Group is one of the biggest industries in the Italian road bike sector, manufacturing over 35,000 bikes and frames every year (under the Pinarello and Opera brand), 80% of which for exportation (especially to Japan, the U.S.A, Australia and Spain with a huge increase of sales in the Scandinavian countries); 40 employees for a turnover that amounts to 35 million Euros. Every year, the company records a 15/20% growth rate thanks to its focus on research and innovation and the high quality of its products. Cicli Pinarello it’s technical supplier of two professional cycling teams: Team Sky and Movistar Team. Both teams ride with Dogma, Pinarello’s flagship model.

Diesel is a global lifestyle brand. From its Headquarters in Breganze, it directly manages around 20 subsidiaries across Europe, Asia and the Americas. It is now present in more than 80 countries with 5,000 points of sale and more than 500 Diesel mono-brand stores. Diesel is part of the holding Only the Brave, which also incorporates 55DSL, Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, and Staff International. In 2009, the holding’s revenues amounted to 1.3 billion euro.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Diesel SS2011 Advertising Campaign: Diesel Island


In 2011 the brand sets off to create a brave new world for the braves and terminally stupid.

It’s the news Diesel fans the world over have been waiting for. After years of feeling marginalized by society, of feeling too colorful, courageous, individualistic or merely stupid to the rest of the world, they’re finally getting a place they can call home. In 2011 they can emigrate to Diesel Island.

This is not a vacation – it is a nation. After launching a movement with the Be Stupid campaign, Diesel’s next step is the creation of an entirely new and stupid society: a tropical utopia where the principles of the Be Stupid manifesto can thrive and flourish. What would it be like to start a nation from scratch? To take what is great from the countries we know, and ditch all that is bad? To re-write the laws? To right social wrongs? A country for only the brave?

The print and outdoor campaign images will show the first pioneers arriving on the island, living exciting experiences, solving some of the old world’s oldest problems (immigration, healthcare systems, transport…) with fresher eyes, and holding wild parties to celebrate the birth of their nation. Think Lost, but with nicer clothes and no polar bears.

A raft of cross-media initiatives (viral videos, a Facebook application and a game based on island’s everyday life, a pirate radio, etc) will complement the traditional media outburst, while the Diesel website will be fully integrated with the campaign: virtual visitors to the island will be able to shape its laws, watch videos of island life, meet its citizens – and of course buy island-friendly clothes via the interactive catalogue. And not to forget, the island will have its own Wikipedia entry, updated every week as the emerging society and its rules and regulations evolve.

Meanwhile, Diesel stores will become the official “embassies” of the island, with flags, maps and explanations of the philosophy that led to the creation of the world’s youngest country. Entering the embassies gives everybody the chance to get official Diesel Island citizenship.

What should the perfect society look like? Can it ever exist? Are the outrageously stupid the best people to create it? And again: will Diesel be brave enough to buy a real island and raise a flag of independence?

Only time will tell. But first, there’s the dream. As the copy says,“Diesel Island is the least fucked-up country in the world. But give us time.”

Diesel Island: land of the stupid, home of the brave

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

3 SUARA****

We start of the new year with a most intriguing release in the local music industry: An album of original compositions featuring vocal contributions from two established singers, Ning Baizura and Jaclyn Victor as well as rising star Shila Amzah from OIAM fame, with ALL songs sung in group form. Upon hearing the project, rumoured to have started all the way in early 2010, I immediately asked myself these three questions: How is the supposed feud between Ning and Jac going to pan out? How is newbie Shila going to stack up against two legendary chanteuses? And, will the combination of the three actually workout?

Well, upon my first full hearing of the album, I am rest assured that all my fears have been allayed. First off, there was never a diva war going on between Ning and Jac, for them working together so comfortably and amicably in this project should put rest to any supposed disagreements between them. Meanwhile, Shila more than holds her own against the other two established performers, displaying a surprising maturity and emotion in her vocal delivery that belies her young age and experience. Watch this space people! But what is most surprising is that the three singers actually complement each other very well, their tones and harmonies blend with ease.

Like an exquisite fragrance, there are three distinctive ‘notes’ to the singing. The ‘top note’ is Jac, sprightly and crisp. Shila is the ’middle note’, smooth and clear. Ning provides the ‘base note’, deep and soulful.  There is no over singing, no trying to outdo each other with their vocal prowess. All adlibbing and vocal runs are executed tastefully, so that when the big chorus and finale approaches, the impact is all the more thrilling. The songs, written  written mostly by Irwan Simanjuntak  and Kevin Chin with singular contributions by Paul Morrison and Alvyn Santiago are immaculately produced to showcase the dynamic vocals.

The album starts of with the joyous, upbeat ITS A BEAUTIFUL LIFE, a celebration of positivity and the love of life. This dance number definitely urges the feet to stand and get jiggy! A powerful opening number indeed. The beat continues with MENARI DALAM HUJAN, featuring a 70s synths and bass, replete with the sexy ‘aahs’ and ‘oohs’ to further accentuate the disco vibe. Another up-tempo track, DIMANA DIMANA, which is currently enjoying airplay features a Latin inspired groove, while HANYA SATU is refreshingly breezy and easy going with an almost Dreamgirls like quality.

Where the album truly shines are in the selection of slower numbers. BERIBU SESALAN is the standout ballad in the collection, featuring a soaring arrangement and truly emotive performances by the threesome. The climax of the song (also presented in an acoustic version) is a crescendo of vocal overlays that literally gives me chills in aural delight. Equally sublime is MENGENANGMU, a haunting ballad serving as tribute to the late Yasmin Ahmad, the preeminent Malaysian director and screenwriter. SEMUA ISI HATIMU and TEMAN are also good tracks, with the latter a heavenly and inspiring gospel-esque song on the importance of friendship. Finally, the lone English track TOMORROW’S CALLING is an understated guitar laden track delivered impeccably by the three singers with an uplifting message of hope and the need to protect our children as the heir of our future.

All in all, 3 SUARA is a highly listenable and enjoyable collection of songs  that truly showcases the best out of the three talented singers. I highly recommend this album. So rush to your favourite music store immediately as the first pressing of this album is only 3,000 units! You definitely don't want to miss out.


  1. It's a Beautiful Life / Irwan Simanjuntak****
  2. Menari Dalam Hujan / Kevin Chin; Tinta***1/2
  3. Semua Isi Hatimu / Irwan Simanjuntak****
  4. Dimana Dimana / Irwan Simanjuntak***1/2
  5. Beribu Sesalan / Kevin Chin; Tinta*****
  6. Hanya Satu / Kevin Chin; Tinta***1/2
  7. Mengenang Mu / Irwan Simanjuntak*****
  8. Tomorrow's Calling / Paul Morrison****1/2
  9. Teman / Alvyn Santiago; Tinta****1/2
  10. Beribu Sesalan [Acoustic] / Kevin Chin; Tinta*****