Founded in by Renzo Rosso, Diesel burst onto the scene with a flash of genius, betting that the style conscious, flush-with-cash youth of the Wall Street boom era would pay handsomely for jeans that were brand new but looked vintage. Diesel rose to prominence and fame off the back of its clever advertising campaign that traded on controversy to say something important about society and culture and sell some jeans along the way.
This anti-establishment attitude and tongue in cheek humour formed the backbone of the brand. How did Diesel go from a start up company in to the hottest denim brand by ?
Diesel occupied dizzying heights of popularity and dominated the denim brand competition in the s. Their jeans were considered to be the hottest item, with many paying well over retail value in order to get their hands on a pair.
Denim, once consider too casual and working class, now became sexy.
Everything they touched seemed to sizzle. This dominance was forged through the partnership between Renzo Rosso and Swedish advertising gurus Johan Lindeberg and Jocke "Renzo rosso wife sexual dysfunction" through edgy advertising agency Paradiset. This ten year partnership birthed the most interesting advertising campaign that demonstrated blending absurdist humour with a powerful social message can transform a brand.
Images of beauty and glamour juxtaposed against provocative headlines that hinted at serious themes. An image of an s ItGirl in cut off denim shorts takes centerstage against a backdrop of triplicated images of a young man pointing a gun directly at the viewer. Elsewhere, Diesel takes on modern society, visually satirising concepts of entertaining, socialising and consumer culture.
The brand depicts the culture clash between the old and the new, with a pair of young urbanites, stylishly dressed, looking on in disgust at a group of overweight old men digging into their fine dining of McDonalds burgers and chips. If Diesel appears to be depicting a divide between old and new cultures, this is only even more clearly highlighted in another ad featuring a familiar scene of a funeral with an interesting sartorial twist.
Our group of family members wealthy, upperclass look into a lavish coffin that features a man wearing not the dress shoes you expect, but Diesel sneakers. Expressions of curiosity, surprise and judgement dot the faces of the family members as they and the minister are confronted by this statement of individuality and rebellion.
Meanwhile, in a spoof of old society-style lavish dining parties, our modern gal is dressed head to toe in denim, and is the hostess with the mostest to a group of pigs, who are are sitting on fancy gold chairs, and are feasting on one of their own. Another ad to use the juxtaposition between animals and young trendy consumers shows apes in green shorts on the steps of a historical building, clamouring for approval or attention from passerbys.