Last week, news of Diesel's freshly signed retail lease at 625 Madison Avenue coupled with the closure of its Fifth Avenue flagship led many of us to assume that the denim giant was ditching the city's most desirable retail address for an only slightly less desirable one on Madison Avenue. Well, a stroll up Fifth earlier today revealed that while the Diesel flagship is indeed closed and under plywood, it appears to be undergoing an extensive renovation. Again, it is surprising to see such a dramatic alteration after only six years, but less so that abandoning the space altogether after such a short time. Signage (above) clearly states that the store is under construction, but still one of Diesel's.
As for 625 Madison Avenue (below), the reported 4,400 square feet seemed a little bit cramped to fit a flagship, which leads us to another speculation: that the new space might be devoted to the brand's upscale collection, Diesel Black Gold, which currently has a location in SoHo. While it has been around for a while, the Black Gold line has gained some real traction in the past few seasons now that creative direction has been assumed by Andreas Melbostad formerly of the late and much lamented PHI. A Madison Avenue location would be much more appropriate for the more exclusive runway collection, and the whole arrangement generally makes a lot more sense. As with all unconfirmed speculation, the store could be for something else entirely (childrens?) or for another brand owned by Diesel owner Renzo Rosso's Only The Brave holding company, but our money's on Black Gold, for now.