Condoms, Cutouts, and Choice: Diesel’s AW23 Collection Debuts at Milan Fashion Week

In his third season as the head of Diesel, Glenn Martens took his experimentation with denim to the next level, and offered a sneak peek into the brand’s upcoming partnership with Durex Condoms.

If there is one thing to be said about Glenn Martens is that he knows how to keep the industry and the internet talking. Invitees of the latest Diesel runway presentation today in Milan received bright red Durex condom packets with the signature Diesel boldface text stamped onto them. In the same vein, the signature bright red runway was dominated by a cascading mountain of 200,000 red Durex condom packets. The set, designed by Krysztof J. Lukasik, sent the message to the audience loud and clear: Diesel is pro sex. Safe sex, specifically. The decision to use the protective contraceptive as props was half statement driven and half promotion oriented. Diesel has partnered with Durex to launch a capsule collection, Durex’s first ever collaboration with a fashion brand, which will be available in April 2023. Pieces from this collection were previewed on the red runway in Milan, including a T-shirt that exchanged the signature Diesel ‘D’ for the same letter in Durex’s font. And, because Martens never does anything small, an additional 300,000 Durex condoms will be distributed to Diesel stores globally, and will be available to customers for free. 

The pieces and looks within this new collection matched their accompanying set with equal intensity. Denim has always been a pillar of the Diesel image – with Martens elevating this pillar tenfold upon his appointment as creative director. For this season’s collection, the brand developed a denim devore (a fabric technique in which materials undergo a chemical process to dissolve the cellulose fibers to create a semi-transparent appearance) in house, a clever nod to the contraceptives. 

Diesel denim is already something to get excited about, and this collection was no exception. This is Diesel denim more intense, more exciting, and more cutting edge than we have seen before. One standout look – a full length, long sleeve denim dress that looks half destroyed, presumably by the devore method, is telling of the designer’s commitment to denim experimentation. 



Denim was not the only design theme pivotal to the Diesel brand that got its spotlight this season. The brand’s signature distressing of garments was taken to new levels in this collection, from everything to 90s-ish mini dresses, hoodies, pants, and T-shirts all got the laser cut treatment. Martens also played with layering and paneling in order to create a visually exciting and engaging collection, tops and shorts were ‘cracked’ open in order to reveal another color underneath. 

Martens also enjoys a good upcycling moment as much as any proper fashion-head does. The collections features biker denims that have been metalized, a shearling jacket that has been bonded with denim and then distressed, leftover nylons from old garment linings that were covered in plastic and then heated up, and blow-torched biker jackets. 




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