Growing up the son of Diesel founder Renzo Rosso, Andrea Rosso became privy to the apparel business at a very young age. It was only a matter of time before he developed the same drive and passion he saw in his pops and set out to create a name for himself, in the world of fashion. 55DSL is an experimental spin-off from Diesel, featuring a standout collection of womenâ€™s apparel and accessories fusing sport and urban culture. In 2002, Andrea took on the role of creative director and the brand rapidly established its own exuberant identity, both complimenting and defying its parent. Celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, there is no stopping 55DSL; the future is only bright for this evolving brand.
â€œWhen I was a child, I became used to playing with fabrics and being inside the textile world, so it came out so naturally for me to get passionate about all this!â€
Format: What was it like growing up the child of a success story? Did your fatherâ€™s founding of Diesel influence your desire to become a part of the industry?
Andrea Rosso: Amazing! I am proud of my father and everything heâ€™s done so far! When I was a child, I became used to playing with fabrics and being inside the textile world, so it came out so naturally for me to get passionate about all this!
Format: Who makes up the team at 55DSL?
Andrea Rosso: We are 45 in total. A great team made of great people. All of them so different and unique at the same time. I, personally, am the art director of the creative department made of 8 people.
Format: Did you go to school for fashion or design?
Andrea Rosso: I studied Textile Development and Marketing in New York.
Format: How does 55DSLâ€™s female line set itself apart from its parent Dieselâ€™s female line?
Andrea Rosso: Beside the fact that we belong to the same group, we are a very independent entity that focuses on a streetwear fashion market and makes clothing for a young street urban-active crowd — this is what we do!
Format: Tell us about your slogan â€œLive at least 55 seconds per day.â€ What does this mean?
Andrea Rosso: Everyone has their personal 55 seconds in life. Living 55 seconds per day means thinking positive and doing something for you. For me, 55 seconds are taking my time and reading a book in the middle of nowhere!
Format: Since joining 55DSL in 2002, how have you seen the female collection of the brand grow?
Andrea Rosso: Seven years now is really a lot and above all this year that we celebrate our 15th anniversary. I look at the past years and I think, â€œwow!â€ The brand has grown rapidly with new products, collaborations with artists and companies; everything we created was already old for us, even before launching it! 55DSL now has a stronger identity and personality and we clearly have in mind where we wanna go!
Format: Tell us about some of your collaborations, both past and present.
Andrea Rosso: I am always looking for new collaborations with artists, as the 10.55 limited edition project, but not only! 55DSL has created a special 10.55 jacket for the very famous deejays Bloody Beetroots. We collaborate with companies such as Safilo for the Sunglasses and companies or events related to the world of music such as Cut&Paste, form whom we are sponsor of the 2D tournament. End of Feb we will launch a capsule collection with our online partner YOOX.COM to celebrate the creativity of Cut&Paste and for FW09 the winner of this huge competition will get the chance to draw a collection for us to be sold only at YOOX.COM! I have two other important collaborations but I canâ€™t say too much yetâ€¦ stay tuned!
Format: You created the 10.55 project to collaborate with various artists from around the world. Tell us about the conception of this initiative and why you feel it is important to give these artists an outlet to showcase their work.
Andrea Rosso: When we started it was kind of an experiment, but the success was immediate and since then we have sold out of all the tees! I think itâ€™s also because of the concept! I liked the idea of giving people freedom in drawing exactly what they wanted; to have free access to creativity, to give you an example, the tag itself is completely free. They can write whatever they want, about themselves or simply about their work!
Format: What enticed you to make the move back home to Italy from Switzerland?
Andrea Rosso: We wanted to be closer to the group (Only the Brave) and to the origins and the places we belong to. Also my family and friends are hereâ€¦ we simply wanted to come back home!
Format: Would you say that there is a big difference in the urban/street-wear scenes between these two countries?
Andrea Rosso: I can say that Switzerland, in a sense, is more related to the action sports world, snowboarding in particular, thatâ€™s maybe the primary difference. We decided, as a company, to move from the unique world of action sports because we are not a company that makes technical clothing for this demographic, we are a streetwear brand!
Format: What were some of the inspirations behind you latest womenâ€™s collection?
Andrea Rosso: Fun, thatâ€™s the word! A colorful collection with cool and ironic graphics! Playing with checks, color blocking, dip dyed and lots and lots of irony!
Format: Whatâ€™s next for 55DSL?
Andrea Rosso: Our 15th anniversary to celebrate! A special collection to celebrate 15 years of history and success! 15 pieces for this spring/summer and 15 more for the FW09! The 10.55 limited edition tee and the new â€œblack seriesâ€ together with the new Bloody Beetroots Jacket! A special t-shirt made from VASAVA, a graphic studio in Barcelona to celebrate our birthday. Cut&Paste events from Feb to June with the final date in NY, YOOX.com and many other cool collaborations.