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Renzo Rosso, CEO, Diesel

Renzo Rosso
Renzo Rosso
Founded: 1978
Headquarters: Molvena, Italy

Operates almost 200 retail outlets worldwide with 1,300 employees.

Annual sales increased from $2.5 million to a current $680 million.

Considered one of the world's most fashionable clothing labels, based on cutting edge marketing, and creative, underground attitude to advertising and iconoclastic attitude to fashion.

"Diesel" brand now includes sunglasses, watches, fragrances and extreme sports clothing.

They say: "Beginning as a company focused on making quality clothing, Diesel has become part of youth culture worldwide. It can legitimately claim to be the first brand to believe truly in the global village and to embrace it with open arms."

What are you reading?

I have two books on my bedside table: one is "The Moon Dictionary" and the other is Dalai Lama's "The Art of Happiness."

Who's been your biggest influence?

In fashion, biggest influences come from the youth street style worldwide. In my life, I've been (and I'm nowadays) influenced by all the people close to me, especially by my creative director Wilbert Das.

What's your biggest mistake?

I've made lots of mistakes in my life, but I always try to learn something positive from them.

Is management an art or a science?

Management is surely a science but, to be really effective, it has to be run with creativity; therefore it is also an art.

What do you reach for on your desk when the fire alarm goes off?

The photographs of 25 years at Diesel placed in my desk and my mobile phone.

Curriculum Vitae

Born: 1955 in Padua, Italy

  • Started making his own clothing under the "Diesel" brand after graduating from an industrial textile manufacturing college in 1975.
  • Acquired sole ownership of the company in 1986.
  • Awarded honorary MBA by Italy's CUOA Foundations in 2000 citing Diesel as "one of the entrepreneurial phenomena of the 1990s."
  • Enjoys yoga, soccer, jogging, snowboarding, wine-making. Spent six years restoring a vintage yacht .
  • He says: "Diesel is not my company, it's my life."

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