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Diesel's Surreal Smiles Capture its Latest Collections Timeless Style

Creative 120 Add to collection

Johnny Dufort directs the spot focussing on the distinctly North American aesthetic of the collection

Diesel's Surreal Smiles Capture its Latest Collections Timeless Style

Diesel x Diesel was born out of Renzo Rosso’s desire to reintroduce our timeless icons in the modern day. The capsule takes on a distinctly North American aesthetic, with a deep look back at all the memorable research trips that Renzo and his multicultural design team did back in the late ‘80s. Inspiration cues go back to college apparel, Route 66, and the essential Diesel identifier of workwear. A varsity jacket has been reimagined in extra-distressed leather, with a new Diesel typeface in patches across the shoulder blades. A mixed-material coat of shearling, cotton, leather and jacquard wool has been recreated; it was originally inspired by a late 1980’s research trip to the South of the US. A treated leather vest from the tail end of the 1980’s has patches that recall an American road trip. For each piece, the underlying idea is the bridging of entities that are separated, whether governmentally (land borders) or temporally (the then-and-now). 

Diesel x Diesel continues with a denim offering that includes a straight leg silhouette with leather appliqué details meant to mimic chaps. The original reference piece is from the late 1980s. With their slouchy shape and the oddness of the pseudo-trompe-l’oeil chaps, there’s something casually appropriate about them for 2021. There are four other denim trousers models, each from the 1980’s, on which contrasting waistbands have been added for differentiation. Rounding out Diesel x Diesel, there are reissued hoodies, mini-skirts and shirts.

Glenn Martens explains more: “When I arrived at Diesel, its 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 what you see here, today. 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.

Diesel is world famous for its irreverence, its boldness, and, simultaneously, its universality. Denim is its engine, and denim is a global fashion staple. Whether through subversion, irony or sometimes flat out audacity, there was always something more being said through a Diesel garment. There is commentary about the era, and there are reflections of the moment. Look closely, and you’ll find it everywhere.

With this in mind, Renzo wanted to create a layered capsule; one that brings back vintage Diesel pieces while updating them for 2021, a year in which the world looks profoundly different than it did in the 1980’s. He called it Diesel x Diesel, and I love this meta-referential title. It is a collection of revamped “classics,” brought into the brave new now. The line-up is a tight edit of 24 pieces, selected from a register of many thousands of garments. 

To accompany this collection, I thought of a brand-new campaign. It is called 'Fake Smiles' but the phrase has more to do with exaggeration than artifice. Channeling Diesel’s 'For Successful Living' mantra, 'Fake Smiles' is about our constant pursuit of happiness. The campaign’s images feature subjects in daily mundane scenarios, all masked with extra-joyful expressions, creating surreal imagery that evokes a sense of nostalgia and captures the spirit of the decades that inspired this collection. 

Our intention is to steer Diesel into the 2020’s with a new focus; one that honours its iconicity and its unique history, yet one that is powered by today’s globalised and interconnected currents. It’s an extraordinary time to be a creative director and I look forward to sharing more with you as the year rolls on.”


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Photographer/Director: Johnny Dufort @ Do Be Do Represents 

Creative Direction: Christopher Simmonds 

Casting: Midland 

Stylist: Ursina Gysi @ M+A Worldgroup

Hair Artist: Cyndia Harvey @ Art Partner

Makeup Artist: Lauren Parsons @ Art Partner

Director of Photography: Eoin McLoughlin @ Vision Artists

Set Designer: Poppy Bartlett @ Magnet 

Manicurist: Pebbles Aikens @ The Wall Group

Production: Holmes Production

Talent: Mya @ Scouted by Mollie, Raj @ PRM, Jose Luis @ Menace Model Management, Katey @ Body London, Mensah @ Premier Model Management & Jaden @ Models 1 Kelly Ann @ Ugly, Stan @ Ugly, Oliver @ Scouted by Mollie, Michael @ Scouted by Mollie, Debbie @ Scouted by Mollie & Trill @ Scouted by Mollie

Editing: Tom Chick

Colour Grade & Effects: Coffee + TV 

Retouching: IMGN Studio

Genres: People, Fashion & Beauty

Categories: Clothing and Fashion, Designer

Diesel, Thu, 25 Mar 2021 10:31:22 GMT