Sophie Kokosalaki to leave Diesel
At the beginning of August, the Italian brand announced that it would be parting ways with Sophia Kokosalaki who has been designing its premium womenswear range Diesel Black Gold since June 2009. Her last collection, for spring-summer 2013, will be shown in New York in September and the identity of her successor will be announced at the beginning of October.
The 39 year old designer wants to dedicate her time to her own ready-to-wear women’s label, ‘Sophia Kokosalaki’ – which was set up in 1991 – and also to ‘new challenges’. Her eponymous label launched a second line, Kore, last year, in collaboration with online retail specialist Asos. After studying literature in Athens, Kokosalaki graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, where she has been based ever since. The recipient of a number of awards, she was responsible for designing the costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and was named creative director of Madeline Vionnet in 2007, before Only The Brave – the holdings company of Diesel founder, Renzo Rossi – acquired 51% of her company that same year.
In 2009, she bought back those shares, but embarked on a collaboration with Diesel, designing a handful of models of jeans. Her work was appreciated by the brand, and Kokosalaki was soon propelled to the role of creative director for Diesel Black Gold as the brand wanted to push its casual chic line – which has just been created in 2008. “Thanks to Sophia’s talent, Diesel Black Gold has defined its clear identity as a premium stand-alone label”, said Renzo Rossi in a press statement.
The group hopes to find the same creative verve in her successor. The Diesel Black Gold line for men is designed by an in-house creative team as is the Diesel menswear collection, whilst the equivalent womenswear collection was entrusted last year to the young Finnish designer, Heikki Salonen.
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