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Diesel roars into Knightsbridge

Industrial and classic combine in Diesel’s new Knightsbridge concept store.

Adorning the front of Diesel’s new concept store in London’s Knightsbrigde is a fractured, diamond-patterned concrete sign, emblazoned with the brand’s distinctive logo. An industrially modern contrast to the Victorian red brick facades of one of the city’s most exclusive streets, this clash of modern and classic is a concept that runs throughout the 2,300 sq ft space.

A collaboration between Japanese architecture firm Wonderwall, and Diesel’s artistic director, Nicola Formichetti, the store opened on 27 October, and is the second concept store for the brand. The first opened on New York’s Maddison Avenue last November.

Womenswear dominates the ground floor, where a small selection of menswear leads to the full offering downstairs.

The Brompton Road store carries an exclusive collection of 21 items, ranging from a £220 puffa jacket to a £1,890 full-length leather and shearling coat. This range is targeting the luxury spend of shoppers in the area, which is dominated by high-end stores such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

An industrial, mirror-and-metal-lined denim area sits at the back of the store. Despite the brushed metal fittings, concrete and glass, the space is nevertheless homely. Warm overhead lighting and cosy furnishings add a welcome sense of comfort to the space.

Jewellery is displayed in antique-style wooden cabinets and worn leather banquettes are strategically placed around the store. Persian-style rugs break up the concrete floor, and a mottled indigo rug in the denim area has been created using the same treatment that the brand uses on its DNA denim collection.

A large digital screen at the back of the store displays the bespoke Christmas advertising campaign “Fur All” that launched with the store. Furry monsters in a variety of shapes and sizes are dotted throughout the store, lending a cosy, quirky, seasonal atmosphere.

Downstairs, the men’s collection, which also features Brompton Road exclusives, is displayed alongside a small homeware offering, as well as accessories, fragrance and eyewear. The basement mirrors the design of the ground floor: product is split evenly across tables and racks and reflected hypnotically in the mirrored walls, which creates the sense of being overwhelmed by the denim selection.

The concept store is the second stage of Diesel’s reboot under Formichetti, who joined the brand in 2013. After refocusing design and product, the new concept aligns the store design with Formichetti’s overall artistic direction. All new stores will use this concept.

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