Diesel opens up shop in SoBe

Diesel, known for its signature denim “for successful living” and innovative ad campaigns, has opened up shop in the heart of Miami’s fashion world. The international design company strolled onto South Beach’s 801 Washington Avenue like a confident European tourist, looking to claim its slice of a consumer pie currently dominated by high-end fashion labels like Versace and Hugo Boss.

According to Diesel’s Public Relations Director, Bridget Russo, “The Miami store is a perfect location for Diesel, as Miami is an international city with people from all over the world vacationing and living there. It’s a beautiful city full of life and energy. It is only natural that we make a home in Miami.”

Diesel attempts to secure brand loyalty by signifying devotion to the aesthetics of design and style. This approach has proven to be quite lucrative, the SoBe store being its 23rd in the United States.

“Diesel is known for an edgy design with vintage accents and unexpected details. Diesel is an innovative design company that is sexy and intelligent with an edge. It is a high-casual brand that represents the new luxury of today’s youth culture,” explains Russo.

A knack for detail in the clothing follows right down to the buttons. The company’s highly visible logo can be seen in the form of embroidery, patchwork, or pins. Extreme angular cuts on bottoms for women exude a sexual touch to otherwise average-looking styles, yet when worn the clothing attracts attention with a tell-tell tight-fit design.

Straight males might turn their heads like puppies when browsing through Diesel’s more “unique creations” that include snug-fitting tie-dye athletic pants, shirts with silver-thread highlights, and over-the-edge embroidery and patchwork tops. Russo says that Diesel doesn’t fit into the mass-produced fashion world and prefers to be a leader rather than a follower.

“From our product to our marketing, Diesel always takes the road less traveled, with an ironic twist, of course. Diesel provides a lifestyle for you customers. It’s a look, a feeling, a way of being. Each of our customers interprets that in his own unique way. We want to foster individuality not conformity.”

True to a point. While Diesel’s prody seems all too similar next to mass-produced fashion, with played out rock and militant influences and accents, the fashion-savvy can easily pick up on the trendy confidence that sets it apart – especially when it comes to denim.

“Diesel has a history of being pioneers in denim. It is our roots and something we feel very strongly about. Each season we introduce a number of new washes and styles, always keeping the customer guessing, ‘what will Diesel do next?’ Vintage washes are still strong as well as low-rise denim for men and women. There is also a movement towards slimmer fits. The over-bleached look is definitely on it’s way out,” predicts Russo.

“Fashion works in cycles and now is denim’s time to shine. That does not mean that it ever goes away, but now it’s nearly reached critical mass with so many players in the market. Part of the reason why denim is so strong is due to the customers desire to be comfortable and the ‘casualization’ of the work place.

In addition, denim has become an expression on one’s personality. It’s no longer one pair of jeans for everyone. With so many washes and styles to choose from the possibilities are endless. Denim can be dressed up or dressed down. Denim is the new black.”
Denim aside, the company’s marketing techniques may be its strongest contribution to modern fashion.

Walking past the store on Washington Avenue, a shopper will surely notice windows decked out with enraged “protestors” (not real people, of course) holding red and black signs that read “WE DON’T BELIEVE IN SALES,” clad in Diesel’s latest threads. The bizarre window dEcor is enticing enough to lure in customers solely off its energetic creativity. When inside, these protestors avow a message that is welcomingly contradictory. Throughout the store, signs read “WE DON’T BELIEVE IN SALES (but we make an exception for you).” This hip eccentricity adds a dash of youthful flavor to shopping in Miami Beach.

Jeanette Hallak can be reached at jhallak@umsis.miami.edu.