RMIT fashion students are working with Diesel and its creative powerhouses in a denim-centric project that could win them the chance to intern in Italy.
Everyone’s favourite fabric is front and centre in Denim Re-fuel’d, a studio hosted by the School of Fashion and Textiles and overseen by Diesel founder Renzo Rosso and Artistic Director Nicola Formichetti.
Rosso and Formichetti were recently in Melbourne as Business Events Speakers at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) and worked directly with third-year Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) students in a special hands-on tutorial and Q&A event.
Deputy Head of Industry Engagement in the School of Fashion and Textiles, Kiri Delly, said the event was an incredible way for students to learn global and innovative practices from some of the industry’s best creative minds.
“The chance for Renzo and Nicola to connect directly with students in the Denim Re-Fuel'd project was very special and intimate: talking fabrics, finishes and design concepts, it was fantastic to see how much both sides enjoyed the interaction,” she said.
Proving after all that a good pair of jeans is all you really need, the Semester One course encourages students to challenge and reinterpret the established uses of denim, showcasing their work by creating one key outfit throughout the semester.
Both Rosso and Formichetti share a passion for the material and are excited to re-energise the concept of denim with the help of RMIT students.
“We love denim, it’s such a cool material to work with and we’re always looking to push this heritage forward,” Formichetti said.
“It’s nice to be collaborating with students because they are so full of ideas and we’re very excited to be checking out the designs at the end of the course.”
At the end of the semester, successful students will be plucked from the jean pool and offered the opportunity to promote their work in store displays and short films at Diesel stores around Melbourne.
“I’m thrilled to give students the opportunity and to see what they’re able to push forward with their designs,” Rosso said.
“Young designers are magic, they see things for how they can be and not just how they are.”
By entering a competition at the end of the course, students will also put themselves in the running to secure an internship supported by VAMFF at Diesel HQ in Italy, which will be the first time the company has taken on students from Australia.
RMIT alumnus and VAMFF CEO Graeme Lewsey said collaboration between industry and education continues to be incredibly important for the future of design.
“It’s amazing to have some of the most talented people in the industry working with RMIT students,” Lewsey said.
Professor Robyn Healy, Head of the School of Fashion and Textiles, said RMIT’s successful and close ties to industry were a testament to the creative talent and work that students continue to produce.
“Through our scholarship of practice-based learning and research, deep industry partnerships and innovative learning and teaching environments, RMIT is recognised for the continual risks we take in creating new ventures and experiences for our students – the future creators and entrepreneurs of the fashion industry,” Healy said.
Renzo Rosso is the founder of Diesel and President of OTB Group, the parent company of Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel, Staff International and Brave Kid.
Nicola Formichetti was appointed Artistic Director of Diesel in April 2013 and is known for shaping the image and style of international pop sensation Lady Gaga.
Story: Sean O’Malley