Diesel founder Renzo Rosso is having a little fun with New York Fashion Week this year, going all out to design a store on Canal Street in New York City (an area famous for its counterfeit merchandise) that seemed to knockoff his brand, according to the company’s website, which is sporting a banner that reads "Go with the fake."
The shop was only open two and a half days, according to Adweek, but was mobbed once the brand let it be known that everything in it was authentic, limited edition Diesel goods, down to the purposefully misspelled "DEISEL" tags.
- Authenticity is part of the brand's pitch to consumers, with a page on its website dedicated to instructions on how to scan QR-coded tags to be sure that you're buying a legit pair of Diesel jeans and not bootlegs.
Diesel made the old "I before E except after C" rule all the more confusing with its mangled spelling, but it also made a splash during NYFW with a clever stunt that was a statement on the notion of authenticity. The key to identifying real Diesel jeans, you might say, are not on the outside, but on the inside (or where the QR code tag is). After all, during those few days on Canal Street, you might have found a fake pair of Diesel jeans with a correctly spelled label, and an authentic pair with a misspelled one.
Once the brand outed itself, the pop-up store was mobbed, Adweek reports. Lines formed, and fashion players headed to grab one of the 1,000 unique, limited items, according to the report. Diesel influencers like Gucci Mane and Francesca Colucci posted photos of themselves with "Deisel" items on Instagram.
Rosso worked with production company Rival School Pictures and creative agencies Publicis New York and Publicis Italy to find the perfect Canal Street spot and fill it with details, like haphazard bins, handwritten signs and, of course — misspelled products — according to Adweek.
It remains to be seen whether the attention will last, warned Brandon Weaver, managing director of Brand Experience & Innovation at BLKBOX. "In an attempt to create buzz around its brand ... and recapture 'cool,' Diesel’s Canal Store pop up left unsuspecting consumers with a limited one-of-a-kind vintage capsule piece," he told Retail Dive in an email.
"In a hypercompetitive market for clothing, retailers are trying anything to be distinct and differentiated in an attempt to create some virality for their brand. The stunt will undoubtedly garner some buzz for Diesel and some value for shoppers — as the one of a kind items have been deeply discounted to seamlessly blend into its surroundings. Let’s see if Diesel can turn this stunt into a galvanizing force for its brand."