MILAN -- For a long time, it seemed that cutting-edge marketers thought the only way to sell jeans was with sex.
Diesel, a denim apparel company here, has other ideas. It has already raised eyebrows in the past with its controversial handling of issues such as gun control, smoking and drugs in its advertising.
With the launch in January of its new print campaign, done in-house with the help of Swedish ad agency Paradiset, Diesel has created its own world that seems to be located somewhere between "Twin Peaks" and Tim Burton's Gotham City.
The campaign consists of four photographs entitled "Gene Manipulation," "The Room," "Fat People" and "Church." Obese men appear to be having the time of their lives in front of plates overflowing with hamburgers and french fries, a disconsolate-looking group of people watch videos by "Dalt Wisney," and tanned musclemen in white bikinis work at high tech laboratory instruments. Included in the shots, sometimes as observers, are somewhat more conventional-looking people clad in jeanswear.
The ads were shot by Danish photographer Pierre Winther, and instead of models, are populated with an off-beat assortment of people scouted on the streets and in the gyms, bars and motorcycle clubs of Los Angeles.
"The campaign doesn't have a text anymore. These are the Nineties, and the new generation doesn't want to be told what to do, what to think," said Maurizio Marchiore, director of advertising and communications for the company."They don't want to resemble their parents in any way, so that means no connection with the legends of the past -- James Dean, the American Dream -- all that has disappeared."
The new campaign is being rolled out around the world, he said. The ads promote Diesel's entire clothing collection rather than just its jeans line.
Diesel, which was founded in 1978 and is based in Vicenza in northern Italy, reported worldwide sales of $412 million in 1993, up 57 percent from the year before. Some 90 percent of its sales are generated by exports to 65 countries. Most of the Diesel product is produced in factories in or near Vicenza, while some 30 percent is sourced in foreign markets, but with an eye to keeping the same level of quality obtained at home, Marchiore said."Our product is a global product, and our public is pretty much the same around the world," he added.
The company invested some $8.2 million in advertising and promotion last year, consisting of print and TV campaigns. This year, Diesel released its fifth TV spot, directed by Jorgen Lof. It's slated to be aired on MTV worldwide.
Diesel has a subsidiary in New York, and a warehouse and showrooms in Miami and Los Angeles. Its U.S. ad budget for 1994 is $1 million. In the first six months, it is advertising in such publications as Details, Rolling Stone, Detour, Premiere, Sportswear International, In Fashion and Out.
Among Diesel's U.S. accounts are Barneys New York, Urban Outfitters, Bloomingdale's, Charivari, Detour, Boogie's Diner, Macy's East and Fred Segal. There are also plans to open a store in New York, Marchiore said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty