DIESEL: STREET STYLE, GEN Z AND THE 1DR

DIESEL: STREET STYLE, GEN Z AND THE 1DR

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DIESEL:

STREET STYLE, GEN Z AND THE 1DR

A stratospheric rise. A bag that stole the fashion world’s heart. And the launch of the 1DR. Take a dive into the world of Diesel.

WORDS: MARNI ROSE MCFALL

Creating the hottest bag in the world is no small feat. But that’s exactly what Diesel, the brand with the biggest D in the fashion industry, did.

Over the past year, Diesel has been at the centre of a stratospheric rebirth. The brand has become one of the hottest in the world, appearing in Lyst’s top 20 index for the first time at number fourteen. Lyst also named Diesel as the logo of the year (see what we mean by big D?), and this is thanks – in no small part – to the micro bag that stole the fashion world’s heart: the Diesel 1DR.

Images via Getty

Spotted on the likes of Julia Fox, Megan Thee Stallion and Kendall Jenner (aka the fashion industry’s most influential disciples) appetite for the 1DR has been unprecedented. In June, the bag saw a 248% increase in searches, according to Lyst, and began doing what only the most powerful accessory can do – selling out, everywhere.

So… how did this all happen? It was a perfect storm of fashion fortune that paved the way for the Diesel 1DR to achieve its current status. But before we get into that, we have to go back to the beginning, which is of course, the return of Diesel itself.

The thing is, Diesel’s rebirth is, well, surprising to say the least. Back in March 2019, the brand filed for bankruptcy, and now a mere three years later, they’re one of the hottest brands in the world… it’s not something you see every day. But there’s one man at the centre of the Diesel revival, and that is Glenn Martens.

 When Martens was appointed as creative director, it marked a new dawn for the brand. Diesel had once been the pioneers of unconventional fabric and thought-provoking advertising, and the former Y/Project creative would be the one to inject this status-quo shaking element back into the brand. Perhaps, what Miuccia is to Prada, is what Martens is to Diesel. Sartorial scientist, modern-day visionary, trailblazing trend setter… really, all of these apply.

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The key to the brands success? The alt-luxury appeal. Sound familiar? It may remind you of the ethos of your favourite brand. Since his appointment at the brand, Martens has adopted a bold, and unique approach, which is now a clear hallmark of the brands success. For one thing, the brand is gender fluid, Martens told Vogue that “everyone should wear what they want. Our denim is genderless and the new collection itself is co-ed and fluid”, and this is something that a new gen of consumers cares more, and more about.

Martens has described his approach to the brand as “sexy, optimistic and active”, features that may remind you of the big energy dressing trend or the style of the streetwear set, i.e., two of the most significant players in the fashion industry right now. Whether it’s Martens’ first runway show as Creative Director, the push on cult accessories or the brand’s responsible denim, there’s a tonne of reasons for Diesel’s success. But really, it all comes down to this: Martens’ Diesel is bringing something new to the table, and that’s exactly what fashion wants right now.

And that takes us to the topic we’ve all been waiting for: the 1DR bag. The ultimate piece of a-list arm candy has become – drum roll please – the It bag of the moment. An It bag is a serious title – not just every bag can be an It bag, it has to be special, which the 1DR undeniably is. Martens told Vogue that, “The 1DR is straight-forward, easy, sexy, genderless and fun- which ultimately are exactly Diesel’s key values” and it’s these pillars of style that have led to the bag’s meteoric rise.

With the 1DR, many of the conventional Diesel elements are still very much there – think big branding and sturdy handles – but Martens has shaken up the formula by making the bag genderless and adding Y2Krazy detailing. The scaled-up logo is a big part of the appeal. It’s a hallmark of freedom, fashion and sex appeal. Sound appealing? We thought so.

And for one consumer in particular, the appeal has been pivotal. We’re, of course, talking about Gen Z. Ever influential on the fashion industry, it is in large part Gen Z that have helped to propel Diesel back into the fashion hall of fame. It makes sense really: it’s just their aesthetic. The brand is unapologetically unique, it’s genderless and it’s a little rough around the edges, which is exactly what the zoomers are after.

Street style imagery: Jeremey French

The evidence? It’s kind of endless. Look to the street stylers wearing Diesel: it’s stars like Julia Fox, Megan Thee Stallion and Bella Hadid, who all – in their own entirely unique ways – represent a shift in the fashion industry. Their style is freer, it’s relaxed, and it doesn’t really care what anyone thinks. Sound familiar? Diesel have also captured the attention of a younger generation, who weren’t around for Y2K the first time. They’re approaching the trend with fresh eyes and a renewed vigour, which is partly why Diesel looks so different this time around. Just look at TikTok, where Diesel is a consistent hot topic, (#Dieselbag currently has 48.7 million views on TikTok). The way pieces are being styled now is reminiscent of the early aughts, but the energy is totally different. Pieces are raw, the styling is adventurous and the people wearing the clothes radiate BDE.

Whether you’re a consumer or a creator, our appetite for fashion is changing. This is something that Diesel is very much aware of – and the brand is maintaining its relevance by bringing something new to the table. Maybe that’s why they opened up their SS23 show to the public for the first time ever, or launched their Diesel Rehab Denim initiative, or staged their FW23 show against a (quite literal) mountain of condoms. Diesel has the magic formula of a) knowing how to appeal to a mass consumer, b) how to create a viral frenzy and c) how to do it like no one else. The brand’s approach is nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Sure, we might be going back to the Y2K aesthetic, but this is fashion that’s all about the future.

Diesel brings something new to the table. Their approach is raw, unfiltered and authentic – something we can’t get enough of right now. Whether it’s the new gen who are wearing their designs, the brand’s ethos itself or their designs, one thing’s for sure: Diesel is ushering in a new era of fashion, style and identity. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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