From sustainable made-to-last core collections to infamously outfitting the whirlwind that was FoxYe, trippy reality-blurring short films to sensory-shaking blown-up billboards, Glenn Martens’ first 26 months at Diesel have been disruptive, sexy, fluid and fun. As the first designer creative director in the Italian denim powerhouse’s 44-year history, the most in-demand fashion visionary of today has built on the denim powerhouse’s disruptive and experimental foundations to continually push possibilities and ignite imaginations. Unveiled in February 2022, his debut catwalk show was a transformative red carpet parade of experimentation, rebellion and play. As models passed by giant-sized sculptures of seductively posed, denim-clad forms, the 69-look strong collection mixed denim, pop, utility and artisan style. It both infused early 00s nostalgia and exuded tomorrow’s world opportunity.
Familiar yet otherworldly, everyday yet elevated, essential yet magical, and rough yet refined, Martens and Diesel both delight in duality. “The really great thing about this brand is that we’re quite individual in the industry,” the Bruges-born, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp-graduate, Y/Project-revolutionary explained to Vogue earlier this year. “We’re never going to be luxury, and we’re not claiming to be luxury. We’re the alternative to it.” It’s for you, it’s for everyone! In 1998, as a 15-year-old, Martens saved up his bartending money to buy Diesel jeans. “Diesel was the first brand I consciously bought because I thought that was the brand to wear to be cool and sexy,” Martens told Hypebeast. “It’s a big brand with a powerful message that speaks to every single person in the world, beyond fashion,” he continued. After reimagining what denim could be at Y/Project, he’s using the Diesel platform to redefine denim for the many, not the few. Where will you take it?
For its Larger-Than-Life Fall/Winter 22 campaign, Diesel disrupted urban skylines with blown-up billboard cutouts posing alongside jutting architectural towers, exuding the brand attitude of optimism, rebellion, sex and playful irreverence with unapologetic confidence. Eager to amplify these themes further, LN-CC enlisted lo photographer Tom Blesch, make-up artist Alice Dodds and hair artist Janina Zais to reimagine the latest Diesel drop inside their distorted daydreams. “It’s a car drive in the dark with only the front headlights on,” is how Tom introduces the collaboration over email. The German-born, Paris-based photographer thrives on exchanging ideas, and here, working closely with self-taught beauty head Alice and hair, face and body painter Janina, the resulting images build an inviting-yet-unnerving world for the collection to thrive.
Photography Tom Blesch, @tomblesch
Make-up Alice Dodds, @alicedoddsmakeup
Hair Janina Zais, @janinazais
Models Bella Summers, @bellasumrz. Ralf Hersborg, @ralf__________________________. Both ANTI-AGENCY, @antiagencyldn/
Photography Assistant Federico Coveralli, @federicocovarelli