Renzo Rosso

Renzo Rosso and Naomi Campbell
(Photo: Getty Images)

Renzo Rosso was born in 1955 in a farm on the outskirts of Venice. He created his first pair of jeans when he was 15, using his mother’s sewing machine. At 30, he created the iconic brand Diesel. Known for its unusual style and innovative and thought-provoking marketing, it garnered worldwide acclaim. Today he is the president of OTB, a global fashion group including Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, and Viktor & Rolf that is the alternative hub for unique, daring brands.

In 2008, Rosso founded the Only The Brave Foundation, an organization dedicated to fighting social inequality and contributing to the sustainable development of underdeveloped areas of the world, with a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Since its creation, the foundation has invested in more than 170 social projects around the world, touching the lives of over 180,000 people.

In 2012, Rosso was invited by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations to brief the press with Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, about the progress of the joint initiatives of the Millennium Promise project and the Only The Brave Foundation. He was also named a United Nations Millennium Development Goals Global Leader, alongside Bill Gates, Queen Rania of Jordan, and Ted Turner.

Renzo Rosso is also very involved in supporting his country’s artisanal and artistic patronage, including having committed to financing the restoration of Venice’s Rialto Bridge, creating a program to financially help small- to medium-sized fashion companies, and creating a micro-credit project for families and small companies who needed help in reconstructing their homes and businesses after the 2012 earthquakes that struck Italy.

Renzo Rosso has been a loyal supporter of amfAR through the years, regularly attending amfAR events worldwide and generously participating in the auctions. At amfAR’s first Milan event, Rosso modeled a Dsquared² leather jacket that was autographed by numerous celebrities.