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Diesel Founder Acquires Viktor & Rolf

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They’ve created runway shows based on everything from atomic bombs to bedspreads, opened an upside-down store in Milan, dressed model Maggie Rizer in a series of garments that left her 154 pounds heavier, and even befuddled Andy Rooney with the name of their fragrance, Flowerbomb. Now avant-garde Dutch fashion duo Viktor & Rolf are enjoying some much deserved attention with a no-flourishes-spared retrospective on view through September 21 at London’s Barbican Art Gallery and cold hard cash. Renzo Rosso, owner of Diesel jeans, has acquired a majority stake in Viktor & Rolf’s design firm.

According to a report in today’s WWD, Rosso “plans to make major investments to bolster the duo’s ready-to-wear business, add licensed products such as eyewear and jewelry and open freestanding stores in high-visibility locations.” While Rosso is best known for jeans, he is no stranger to avant-garde fashion designers, having acquired the company of designer Martin Margiela in 2002. “He has shown with Margiela what he can do. The business has grown substantially and he kept the DNA of the brand. It’s a win-win situation,” Rolf (Snoeren) told WWD. “But of course we are completely different from Margiela, and this is what he understands.”

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