There’s an inherent finesse in crafting a brand that is a counterpoint to luxury, and Glenn Martens has mastered this dance of design at Diesel. His latest venture, the Diesel Resort 2024 (Cruise 2024) collection, underscores the brand’s democratic ethos, aiming to engage a broad spectrum of consumers while injecting a dash of thrill into the commercial arena. Martens’ mission was to distill the concepts from the Fall/Winter 2023 collection into a more simplified and affordable iteration.
“Pre-collections are a valuable opportunity to demonstrate Diesel’s democratic ethos on a larger scale”, Martens declared, joining us from a set in London. “This collection is especially pleasing as it enables us to engage a wide audience while maintaining Diesel’s quintessential straightforward vibe”.
Central to Martens’ design philosophy are three foundational pillars: denim, utility, and pop aesthetics. These themes have been the rhythmic chant resonating through every season. For the Diesel Resort 2024 collection, Martens has managed to transmute high-end runway designs into wearable everyday pieces, showcasing metallic coating, fabric juxtapositions, distressed and trompe l’oeil effects.
The collection features sweatshirts and knit dresses adorned with reflective treatments, alongside a pair of eye-catching yellow denim pants. These pieces, post stonewash, reveal an underlying cool pop edge. This approach is a departure from the time-consuming triple-layering process used in previous collections, with Martens favoring a more ‘democratic‘ method of applying the metallic touch.
Noteworthy artisanal pieces, such as distressed denim-layered shearling coats and garments bearing the marks of oxidation or blowtorch treatments, have been remastered for the Resort collection. By digitally scanning and printing these designs on separates like zip-up windbreakers, the brand has made runway aesthetics more accessible.
Martens also reinterpreted the delicate denim interwoven with organza, transforming it into lace-trimmed dresses. Other pieces, such as denim frocks featuring an all-over sequin print for a trompe l’oeil effect and sporty jersey halter-neck dresses, offer a range of style choices.
This collection continues to embrace the utility trend, showcased in roomy track pants, baggy cargo options and camouflage prints. Men’s offerings include distressed effects, double-layered intarsia knits, and soft tailoring featuring cool wool and acetate.
Martens’ focus on denim jackets and heavy branding is a strategic move aimed at resonating with Gen Z, a demographic central to Diesel’s growth. “We’ve noticed a surge in popularity among younger generations. It’s amusing that many are only now discovering Diesel as a denim brand”, Martens chuckled.
To further engage this youth demographic, Diesel is planning a free rave in Rome on May 19. This bold move, given the current political climate in Italy, is a testament to Diesel’s commitment to youth culture. Martens jestingly admitted, “We did it on purpose to ruffle some feathers”. He views it as Diesel’s responsibility to combat the stifling of youth culture, stating, “We have to be the Joan of Arc of fun and of enjoying life”.
With the Diesel Resort 2024 collection, Glenn Martens continues to democratize fashion, proving that luxury can be accessible, inclusive, and above all, fun.
In the Diesel Resort 2024 collection, the art of trompe l’oeil, the illusion of texture and dimension, comes alive. Detailed fabric prints mimic the effects of layering and distress, bringing a high-fashion concept into the realm of everyday wear. This innovative approach not only makes runway design more accessible but also opens up a world of possibilities for fashion-forward enthusiasts seeking affordable options.
One of the show-stopping pieces includes a pair of yellow denim pants coated with a reflective treatment, which, after undergoing a stonewash process, reveals an unexpected pop edge. Martens describes this as a more ‘democratic‘ way of applying the metallic touch, offering a runway aesthetic at a more accessible price point.
This theme of accessibility continues with the incorporation of artisanal pieces from previous runway shows. Shearling coats with a distressed denim layer, as well as garments with oxidation or blowtorch effects, have been digitally remastered onto separates such as zip-up windbreakers. This innovative approach allows a broader audience to experience the unique, edgy aesthetic that Diesel is renowned for.
Denim, a cornerstone of the Diesel brand, has been reimagined in unexpected ways. Delicate organza interwoven with denim has been translated into lace-trimmed dresses, bringing an unexpected feminine touch to a traditionally casual fabric. Denim frocks are splashed with an all-over sequin print, creating a trompe l’oeil effect that combines glamor and comfort in a single piece.
The Resort 2024 collection embraces the utility trend, featuring roomy track pants, baggy cargo options, and camouflage prints. Distressed effects, double-layered intarsia knits, and soft tailoring pairing cool wool and acetate are seen throughout the men’s line, offering a range of choices for fashion-conscious men seeking versatile and stylish options.
Heavy branding and a focus on denim jackets are a clear nod to Gen Z, an important demographic for Diesel’s growth. Martens, with an amused tone, noted, “We’re extremely popular with younger generations. It’s a blessing that they’re discovering us as a denim brand”.
Diesel is planning to engage with this younger demographic even further with a free rave in Rome on May 19. In Martens’ words, “We did it on purpose to stir things up a bit”. By standing up for youth culture, Diesel asserts itself as a brand committed to pushing boundaries and advocating for the freedom of expression. With Martens at the helm, Diesel continues to prove that it is possible to combine luxury and inclusivity in the world of fashion.
Read more: Diesel x Durex Fall/Winter 2023: A bold fusion of style and sexual wellness