Andrea Melbostad is back, infusing his textural genesis and street smarts into iconic label, Diesel Black Gold
The impossibly detail-oriented and progressive Andreas Melbostad has recently been name the new creative director of Diesel Black Gold, following last year’s announcement that Sophia Kokosalaki was leaving her three-year stint at the label. The Norwegian-born Melbostad, now the reigning creative czar of both Diesel Men’s and Women’s, has been assigned the epic mission of coordinating a global image for the iconic brand. His inarguable men’s collection will debut this January during New York Fashion Week for the Autumn-Winter 2014 season.
No stranger to luxury, Andreas previously sharpened his teeth at heavyweight design houses like Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, and Nina Ricci, giving up his latest position as a consulting designer at Roberto Cavalli to spearhead the most progressive line under Diesel’s umbrella. While his impressive resume would excite even the most casual laymen, for fashion heads, Melbostad’s most illustrious work to date was from his tenure as the former Creative Director of cult-adored Ready-to-Wear line Phi. Throughout Andreas’ time at the New York-based line, he explored his ability to make interesting shapes out of unexpected materials, cultivating a hard-edged 80s vibe for punks and party girls alike. Unfortunately, the economic downturn eradicated the brilliant label in 2009, but it’s much-too-brief run left the industry wanting more from the sartorial laureate. He was just too good to be out of the job. Fortunately for us, in 2012, Melbostad caught the eye of Renzo Rosso, president of OTB, and the rest was history.
A rep for Diesel raves, “Since joining the company, Andreas has been praised for his sophisticated style and cosmopolitan aesthetic, both of which support the brand’s contemporary premium DNA.”
We sat down to chat with Andreas Melbostad about his plans for the powerhouse brand, take on gender, and penchant for iconic symbols.
Congratulations on your promotion to Creative Director of both Men’s and Womenswear at Diesel Black Gold. Can you tell us a little bit about your past experiences with Menswear?
This is my first venture into menswear. I have not previously worked with men’s, but menswear has always been an inspiration for my womenswear. I like the sense of wardrobe and structure that men’s gives. When I cut a jacket, shirt, or pants, it is often informed by men’s technique, cut, shape, and utility. At the same time, I enjoy the freedom that womenswear gives. The exploration of silhouette is much freer and the range of materials and techniques is much wider.
Working on both men’s and women’s is an opportunity for me to further develop both aspects within the collection with the goal to give a singular identity across both.
There seem to be some distinct similarities between Diesel Black Gold and the regrettably extinct, Phi. Interesting texture, progressive yet very wearable sleek silhouettes—many say that the label celebrated rebellious chic before the rest of the sartorial herd, leading the “cool” 80s renaissance. What does “cool” mean to you? Does it have different definitions for each gender?
I love an attitude of irreverence and I love to think of my client as individuals with a great sense of self and an unafraid drive to express themselves. This is what informs my overall approach. I want to give strength and confidence to the person that wears the clothes. My approach to men’s will be very similar to the women’s; the attitude is the same.
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text ERIN DENNISON
photo DANIEL MATALLANA