Meet the Punk Rock Designer Behind Diesel Black Gold

Diesel Black Gold launched in 2008 to help save Diesel from itself. The Italian brand had become famous for its denim and leather jackets, often tragically worn by a certain kind of bro. It needed a new label to broach the realm of high fashion — and the kind of men who gravitate to it — with elevated cuts and fabrics.

It started out well, but it wasn’t until Andreas Melbostad came on board as creative director in 2012 that the new label came into its own. “With Diesel Black Gold we are always working around an irreverent attitude,” he says. “Season by season we look at how we can bring new nuances to this core spirit. We always return to a range of iconic staples. I love iconic pieces because of how they carry an emotional attachment, and I love looking at how to maintain this emotion while transforming the styles to create new hybrids for today’s wardrobe.”

With the latest collection, Melbostad has continued to push the brand into new territory. “In the past, we would be a little more layered and more complex, and have more of a street attitude in the way we put the clothes together,” he says. “This time we wanted to make it a bit more edited.” It’s like Melbostad is the sartorial equivalent of a jazz musician — making beautiful music by paying attention to the notes that aren’t being played.

The Hero Survey

What’s one item every man should have in his wardrobe?

A great leather jacket and dark jeans. They’re iconic pieces that I always return to in my own wardrobe, and they are a constant source of inspiration for Diesel Black Gold.

What’s one trend you are tired of?

Preppy. It’s a resilient trend that I would be happy to see go away.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

I love architecture and interior design, so if I wasn’t a designer then I would probably have been drawn toward one of these careers.

In what era do you think men dressed best?

If I have to pick one I might say the 1950s because the process of breaking with norms and convention started then. I like how there was tension between established codes and new ideas. It was the start of youth and counterculture, and this movement carried forward into the ’60s and ’70s, and gave birth to Mods, Punks, Rockers, and other strong movements that still inspire and inform the way we dress today.

What is your most treasured piece of clothing?

My leather jackets. I think men can express themselves the most through their choices of outerwear, and my number one choice is leather jackets. I would be very sad to lose any of my favourites.

Who, living or dead, would you most like to dress?

I would have loved to dress bands like The Clash or Joy Division — not that they needed any help.

What do you do when you have a night off?

The best night off for me is when I’m home in New York. With my hectic travel schedule and many nights in hotels, I’m happiest having a quiet night at home or dinner with close friends.

What’s the next big trend in menswear?

Self-expression. Menswear is becoming more free and diverse, and I’m enjoying seeing men express their individuality through their apparel.

Lightning Round! Pick One:

Single or double-breasted jacket? Single
Collared shirt or T-shirt? Collared
Pleated pants or not? Flat-front
Chinos or jeans? Jeans
Sneakers or Oxfords? Sneakers