ΟΖΟΝ met Andrea Rosso, during the recent BREAD&BUTTER Tradeshow in Berlin. The son of Diesel’s founder talks us about his personal touch at 55DSL and how he manages to follow and yet differentiate himself from his legendary father.

-What is your first childhood memory, concerning clothes or your dad’s business?

I remember when I made my first denim pants by myself. I remember a lot because I made many mistakes, but I liked it. When I started sewing, I used to make clothes for my sister, so it naturally grew inside me and I liked it.

-How did the idea of creating your own brand come?

Actually, ‘55’ is the year my father was born, so he always put ‘55’ in the Diesel line. He, along with another designer, actually decided to make a small line and call it 55DSL. When he created 55DSL I fell in love with it. I really liked the fact it was very colorful, denim-free and very graphical. So since then I worked part time and in 2000 I started working full time in 55DSL.

-What is different between 55DSL and the rest of the Diesel collections?

Originally ‘55’ was not allowed to do denim. Only t-shirts, sweatshirts and more cargo pants and cotton pants, the staff that we used to wear at the time. After, we went to more action sport, snowboarding, skating and surfing and I loved it so much. The clothing used to have a technical approach. Then, we went into more street-wear. No more technical, but inspired by military and sports. The difference between then and now is the distribution and the target which is maybe the same age but a little lower, younger, with different attitude. So ‘55’ is more graphic oriented. We use a lot of irony in the graphics, we are very playful, and we are much smaller so our distribution is limited. Diesel is certainly a big brand and it is a denim-oriented business so this is the main difference between the two.

-Your father is one of the most famous persons in the fashion business. Do you think that you follow your father’s vision or you create your own one?

My father gives you a lot of energy and motivates you to do new things by challenging you. He always wants to do more. That’s why if you stay with him and he has some ideas you have to follow him, otherwise you stay behind. I took this from my father. I am not as business mind oriented as my father is, but I think we share the fact that we both want to do new things. This has passed to 55DSL.

-So you don’t see yourself differentiating a lot from your father’s vision. Right?

Well, we grew up in different times, so definitely his vision is really different than mine. The music he listens is different than mine, so as the people he hangs out. So everything that reflects my way of living is different than my father’s.

-Why do you think 55DSL is so big in Japan?

Japan is a great country. Creativity has expanded and Japanese people have really good taste in colors and details. They have very good understanding. In 55DSL we experiment a lot with this and the Japanese people and market are willing to wear ‘55’. I visit Japan a lot in order to do research, this country is an endless source of inspiration.

-In terms of event, are you bringing those ‘Red Parties’?

Yes. Basically my brother has a red room in his house so we called it ‘the red room’. Also because our last name is Rosso it is easily linked. So we are having this party, a lot of people come and we want to organize it also in Milan, London and Paris. I hope it’s going to be good. It is just a start.

-What would you choose as something more characteristic, from the Fall – Winter collection?

The new jackets are very nice, as well as some new graphics in our t-shirts and some cargo pants. We also like military so we focus on military details and really nice, feminine dresses.
What about the Spring – Summer collection?
We changed the silhouette of many t-shirts. People start wanting more on t-shirts. They are very easy to wear so it’s good to play around. The graphics are very strong and art oriented. We also have many sexy, female dresses. We play a lot with broken hearts and we use sexy graphics. The way we approach graphics is very ironic and fun. It’s the way we see things.

-Which is your favorite band?

There are many bands that I like, tecently I’ve been listening to a band called ‘Geographer’, it’s new and I like it a lot, also to ‘The XX’.

-Apart from clothes and design, what would you say that it is your biggest passion?

I like anything that is vintage. Sometimes when I go to the market I take a look at the post-cards from World War II, because it reminds me the way that my grandmother writes. She only attended the elementary school yet she writes much better that many others and I do. The way of writing back in these days was definitely better, beautiful calligraphy. So when I look at these post-cards, the calligraphy is very beautiful and the words they use are words that we don’t use anymore.

-It is crazy that you like the old stuff and on the other hand you also like the futuristic part of Japan.

Well I’ll tell you something. I was born in 1977 so for me it’s a special year. I’m talking to a lot of my friends from school and we say that we know what the year before and after the Internet was and this is very important. There is a beauty in this. I like saying this because not many people know it. Maybe one day, when we are old, a study on this will occur, because that year changed many things. I believe since Internet arrived, the reality of things changed. Maybe in a better way but still I love the previous one. Back then, if you liked music and going to clubs, you really had to look for the right bar, the right place and flyer. You probably still have your favorite flyer or a flyer’s graphics. Today though, flyers exist only digitally, so you don’t collect anymore. The passion of searching is now lost. Nowadays everything is too fast. There is a lack of beauty in this. I like the fastness too though. It is more grateful and helpful. So the balance of our age is good.

That’s a really nice way to end the interview. The old, the new and somewhere in the middle it is us. It’s great!

Text: Yorgos Kelefis | Photo: George Orfanou | Link: 55DSL.com