CULTED 101: DIESEL, FROM DENIM TO DUREX

CULTED 101: DIESEL, FROM DENIM TO DUREX

by Robyn Pullen
4 min
Jack Chipper / CULTED ©

Diesel – the young Italian brand stirring up buzz through its elevated style and an essential dash of innuendo. Founded in 1978 by denim manufacturer, Renzo Rosso, the brand has developed an ethos rooted in breaking conventions and pushing against boundaries, widely recognised for its scandalous clothing and provocative campaigns. Consistently producing viral shows, viral campaigns, and viral garments, Diesel has dominated social media over the past few years, led by Creative Director, Glenn Martens, who’s fearless use of the sex symbol has propelled Diesel into the limelight. Let’s take a look at the pieces, themes, and roots that make Diesel.

FROM DENIM TO DENIM

Denim is at the forefront of Diesel’s designs, and has been since the very start. Woven into the brand’s roots, Diesel was created when founder Renzo Rosso rebranded his denim manufacturing company ‘Moltex’ in 1978, setting out to create something revolutionary yet authentic. At the time, Diesel stood out from competitors by producing denim garments which came pre-distressed and looked worn even before purchase, an aesthetic revived in many of Diesel’s contemporary collections, such as its FW23 show which saw shredded jackets with excessive skin peeking through. The symbol of denim is reoccurring in Diesel’s collections, with jeans and denim jackets making up a significant portion of the brand’s ready-to-wear, available in a spectrum of every style, colour, fit, and wash imaginable. 

Jack Chipper / CULTED ©

SKIRTS THE SIZE OF A BELT

As a brand unafraid of showing a little skin, Diesel’s widely recognised for its ultra-mini skirts. Labelled the Belt/Skirt, Diesel first debuted the item in the brand’s FW22 show and it quickly became the internet’s newest viral obsession. Not only is the mini-skirt embellished with detailing reminiscent of a chunky Y2K-style brown belt, with the brand’s oval ‘D’ logo as the buckle, but it’s also about as big as a belt.

Diesel ©

BAGS WITH A ‘D’

Another viral item you simply can’t ignore when discussing Diesel is the brand’s 1DR bag. Available in almost every colour in the spectrum, the bag was first released as part of its SS22 collection and since has become practically unavoidable. Quickly transforming into the ‘It’ bag of the last year, the iconic and easily recognisable design emblazoned with a giant oval ‘D’ logo has been swung over the shoulders of every influencer and celebrity in the fashion sphere.

Diesel ©

DIESEL KNOWS “SEX SELLS”

Another thing about Diesel we simply can’t ignore is the brand’s flirtatious relationship with sex. Over the past few decades, Diesel has produced an array of provocative campaigns and collections, such as the Diesel Intimate 2009 Campaign which saw digital cameras zoom in on model’s private parts, as well as bondage inspired pieces, and the sex noises that played at the FW23 show. Diesel’s casual sexualisation of fashion continues to raise eyebrows, most recently seen in the brand’s collaboration with condom brand Durex, a promotion of safe sex which is intending to give away 30,000 boxes this month.

Diesel ©

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