NOW AND THEN: Amid a flurry of collaborations and co-branded capsule collections, Diesel is drawing from the brand’s heritage for its latest project.
Building on the brand’s archives filled with denim styles from the 1980s and 1990s, company founder Renzo Rosso asked creative director Glenn Martens to work together on the Diesel x Diesel capsule, a redux of vintage signature pieces reinterpreted through a contemporary lens — and Martens’ knack for avant-garde silhouettes and innovative takes on denim.
“When I arrived at Diesel, founder Renzo Rosso was working on a unique, temporal take on fashion collaboration: past Diesel and present Diesel. He was studying how to fuse the label’s heritage within the context, and outlook, of the year 2021. Then and now, together. I thought, what better a place to begin? I embraced this vision and I am proud to have worked alongside him in amplifying it,” said Martens.
“In some ways, it symbolizes the passing of the proverbial baton; we are celebrating Diesel’s background as we steer into a new era, and I am excited about the direction in which we are heading,” he added.
The 24-piece capsule collection marks the first fashion design effort for Martens since he was conscripted for the top creative job in October although the first full collection designed by the Belgian creative is to bow in June for spring 2022.
The lineup stems from Rosso’s own journey down memory lane, recalling past research trips he and the design team made to the U.S. back in the day. There’s a slew of Americana references, from a distressed-leather varsity jacket from 1990 covered in patches boasting a new Diesel Gothic logotype, to a patchwork shearling-lined jacket featuring cotton, leather and jacquard wool pierced together for a crafty look and denim trousers from the late 1980s embellished with leather appliqué nodding to chaps.
Priced between $135 and $1,195, the collection drops online and in-store on March 29. It is flanked by campaign imagery conceived by Martens questioning today’s constant pursuit of happiness. Called Fake Smiles, it depicts models of different provenances and ages engaged in daily tasks such as dishwashing and grocery shopping while sporting extra-joyful and surreal smiles.
As reported, last month Martens unveiled its first store concept for Diesel developing an immersive and experiential design for two pop-up shops in Amsterdam and Washington boasting floor-to-ceiling red paint and a giant Diesel logo.