SEX SELLS and Glenn Martens knows this. So, for Diesel’s autumn-winter 2023 collection, the creative director wanted to push this message forward in a safe way – with condoms. Honing in on their brand values of choice, freedom and experimentation, the unforeseen collaboration with Durex makes far more sense than your immediate reaction to the mountain of 200,000 condom boxes in the middle of the runway.
“Sex positivity is something amazing,” begins Martens when explaining this powerful coming together of two distinctively opposite brands. “We like to play at Diesel and we are serious about it. Have fun, respect each other, be safe”. Beyond what the AW23 collection offers, this installation hints at a forthcoming capsule with Durex, set to release in April, and making it the first fashion brand that the condom behemoth has ever collaborated with.
But there is more to this collection than the excitement of seeing condoms on the runway. With denim at the very core of everything Diesel does, Martens took the characteristic of experimentation and brought it to this steadfast material.
Cutting the silhouettes lower and having the hips on full display, the moto denim swings with bleached whiskers, while tops are moulded; denim devoré jeans are so distressed that you can see the skin beneath’ and knits, skirts and dresses in this fabric are given an update with crystals.
What Martens has managed to do is make Diesel one of the most sought-after brands in the industry, but most notably, his ability to make the Diesel logos signifiers of cool and edgy is something that this season he is emphasising even more. Edging onto a refined side of logomania, tops and shorts are cracked open to reveal hints of the logo, a must-have short-cut jersey dress has the name running up the body like a vertebrae and pieces such a bandeau tops and gowns are held together with metallic D chokers charms.
What has become clear is that Martens is ready to continually push the boundaries of what the artisans at Diesel can do. Up-cycling, bonding then distressing and even blow-torching leather to create pieces that border into art, but still maintain that level of sex-appeal that the brand is now so synonymous for, is just credit to his vision of the brand. The brand identity is unwavering and enviable, and just like how sex sells, so does Diesel.
by Imogen Clark