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December 13th

Palazzo Vecchio, Salone dei Cinquecento
Piazza della Signoria, Firenze

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Chairman, OTB (Only the Brave)

Born in 1955, in Northeast Italy, a young Renzo Rosso commandeered his mother’s sewing machine to create a pair of extravagantly flared pants. He wore them, his friends wanted them too, and a clothing pioneer was born. In 1975, following graduation from a textile manufacturing college, Rosso began working in the industry and in 1978 joined the Genius Group. From there sprang a number of brands, including Katherine Hamnett, Replay and, of course, Diesel. In 1985, Renzo took full control of the Diesel brand, surrounding himself with like-minded designers focused on creating unusual clothing for free-spirited consumers. Driven by its singular brand image and startling yet appealing advertising, Diesel is, today, an iconic lifestyle brand.

But Renzo didn’t stop here. Today, Diesel is part of the Only the Brave holding, which incorporates streetwear brand 55DSL, fashion houses like Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf, as well as Staff International, an Italy-based company renowned for its tailoring expertise and strong distribution network, which manufactures and distributes the brands owned by the holding, but also licensed brands like DSquared, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs Menswear and Just Cavalli. The holding’s 2010 revenues amounted to 1,3 billion Euros.