Diesel’s Creative Director and head designer is Wilbert Das who has worked for Diesel since 1988. Wilbert started as a designer on the Male, Accessories, Leather, and Kids lines. He rose quickly to head the style office and creative areas of Diesel, and in 1993 was given the official title of Creative Director, with responsibilities ranging from directing all product design as well as all communication campaigns. From clothing and accessory design to advertising, new media, merchandising, retail and interior design (:including stores, showrooms, offices, hotels), planning of fashion shows and events, as well as developing new brand extensions such as houseware, furniture and even automobiles. Literally all aspects of the Diesel brandβs style and image fell under Wilbertβs responsibility.Wilbert Das left Diesel in late 2009 amid rumors of irreconcilable differences with CEO Rosso over the future direction of the company. In 2010 the new creative direction was given to the French fashion founder of WAD Magazine (We Are Different), Bruno Collin.
In recent years, the company has driven its attention to endorsing young creativity by sponsoring several projects such as the Diesel-U-Music Contest. Diesel has been the founding partner of International Talent Support in its various forms. Diesel has also offered sponsorship and creative contribution to the 2006 edition of Vienna’s Life Ball AIDS charity, as well as the Sundance Film Festival.Diesel’s innovative approach to marketing has let it to be perhaps the first clothing company to market their clothing in video games, and has developed innovative approaches to fashion shows.In December 2008, Diesel announced a marketing partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, to sell their designs in Sony’s virtual world, Playstation Home with the majority of the proceeds going to the OTBF Only The Brave Foundation (Diesel’s charitable arm). From January to September 2008, Diesel spent $5.8 million on U.S. advertising, according to TNS Media Intelligence.A November 2009 New York Post article mentions that “the CEO of the fashion house’s US division, Steve Birkhold, has resigned to join a rival firm.” According to the Post, Birkhold was allegedly attempting to secure deals to expand the Diesel brand into U.S. chain stores like Macy’s, while Diesel’s Italy execs feared such a move would dilute the brand’s image.In 2010 from its headquarters in Breganze, it directly manages 18 subsidiaries across Europe, Asia and the Americas. It is now present in more than 80 countries with 5,000 points of sale, including more than 400 company owned stores. Diesel is part of the holding Only the Brave, which also incorporates 55DSL (a street and urban wear brand); Staff International (an Italian company that manufactures and distributes clothing for brands such as Diesel Denim Gallery, Maison Martin Margiela, DSquared2, Vivienne Westwood, Viktor & Rolf and Marc Jacobs Menswear); and controlling stakes in Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor and Rolf.