This week we're running a special #DIESELTRIBUTE takeover in celebration of Nicola Formichetti’s new role as artistic director and his newly launched Tribute collection. From exclusive mixtapes to behind the scenes footage from Nick Knight’s campaign shoot, we’re exploring all things Diesel, denim and DIY – rounding it off with an exclusive Dazed Diesel party this Thursday.
Diesel Tribute is a sweaty, scrawny teenager pogoing in a club cavern: angst, rebellion and anarchy bound up and wound up in rock icon patches and a smattering of studs. There’s no soundtrack, it’s BYO: the mixtape of your teens, whatever takes you back to a darker DIY moment.
When we asked Nicola to share his teenage idol mixtape, we had clashing expectations – an homage to early obsessions with K-pop thanks to a trans-ocean upbringing between Tokyo and Rome? The reality is a snapshot of classic nineties youth: formative years spent in London’s nightclubs dancing to Dee Lite and Everything But The Girl, with daytime MTV leaving the indelible marks of guilty pleasure trash in New Kids On The Block and Spice Girls. Hindsight sees Formichetti’s Gaga mutations in the original chameleon, Madonna, and disco freak Grace Jones. With his mix noted we quizzed Nicola further on gangs, girl bands and paying tribute.
Dazed Digital: Would you rather be in Girls' Generation or 2NE1?
Nicola Formichetti: 2NE1 – I prefer girl bands with individual style.
DD: Which dance craze do you prefer - Gangnam Style or T-Ara's shuffle dance from Lovey Dovey?
Nicola Formichetti: Shuffle dance is my thing!!!
DD: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu or Perfume?
Nicola Formichetti: Of course Kyary! She's the cutest living doll ever.
DD: What’s your favourite cult gang uniform from history?
Nicola Formichetti: The Hells Angels.
DD: What was your first iron-on patch and what did it mean to you?
Nicola Formichetti: I can't remember my first one…it's probably something my mum patched on for me.
DD: Most unexpected find from the Diesel archive?
Nicola Formichetti: All the 90s club wear was really unexpected – crazy fake fur jackets, tight red shiny flair pants etc…
DD: Any DIY fashion heroes you looked up to? Or still admire now?
Nicola Formichetti: Noki, he's always one step ahead
DD: What does the Diesel DIY mentality stand for?
Nicola Formichetti: We stand for individuality.
DD: What was it like working with Nick Knight for the campaign?
Nicola Formichetti: It was so inspirational. I believe Nick Knight is the greatest photographer alive today and he’s always trying to push things to the next level.
DD: What inspired the use of iPhone and app technology for the campaign?
Nicola Formichetti: We wanted all of you to DO-IT-Yourself.
DD: What were some of the references behind both the campaign and the collection?
Nicola Formichetti: Old biker images meet Tumblr GIFs.
DD: Who would you most like to pay tribute to?
Nicola Formichetti: Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel. Thirty-five years ago he created this incredible legacy and now, we’re moving forward together.
Follow Natasha Slee on Twitter here @tashalouises