On August 26, OTB-owned fashion brand Diesel rolled out a pop-up store featuring its Fall 2022 collection in TX Huaihai, one of the trendiest fashion hubs in Shanghai. The brand exhibited a gigantic blow-up model in a sensual pose, which was a key installation at creative director Glenn Martens’ first physical runway show for Diesel in February.
The space continues Diesel’s iconic red-and-white colorways and architectural aesthetics, presenting a variety of categories such as denim, ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories in the Y2K style. From September 1 to 7, the pop-up store arrives at its next location in Shanghai: multi-brand store Hao Market.
The 7-meters-tall inflatable model in the brand’s signature denim lying down at the entrance of the store has gone viral on Chinese social media. Diesel’s posts featuring the installation on Xiaohongshu received nearly 1,000 likes within one week. Some users commented that the campaign is “cool and avant-garde” while others considered the blow-up model “creep, ugly, and weird.” Still, the diverging opinions sparked online discussion for the label, which is favorable for building brand awareness in the local market.
2022 marks the year of Diesel’s turnaround, starting with the success of its Fall 2022 runway show. Before mounting the sculptures physically in Shanghai, the brand kicked off digital initiatives in partnership with Tmall’s Super Collection (a channel designed for brands to debut their new collections). On August 12, it livestreamed an online runway show on the marketplace to showcase its Fall 2022 collection, which drove nearly 100 million views for the campaign hashtag on Weibo.
Diesel’s focus on expanding in China aligns with OTB Group’s statement earlier this year. In February, the family-owned company said its revenue in 2021 rose 16 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels and confirmed its 2022-2024 growth strategy, teasing an “ambitious business plan with greater impetus” including the possibility of a market listing.
Despite these ambitions, it takes time for the label known for denim to refresh its image among China’s savvy shoppers. According to Jing Daily’s interview with Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel and the president of OTB Group, the brand “invests heavily in communications, respecting the culture and the values of the country and its people,” in addition to retail and e-commerce developments as well as locally relevant special projects. The pop-up stores and endorsements from local celebrities, such as Yang Mi, Dylan Wang, and INTO1’s Mika, are just the start of the house’s localization.