30 years goes fast, Diesel


A high octane Diesel clothing brand from Italy turns 30 years this year. 30 years young, and still going strong on the fastlanes of fashion and setting the trends while reforming our way of viewing this world.

Diesel was founded by Renzo Rosso in Italy in 1978, and the production of denim jeans is still based exclusively in Italy. The founder, Renzo Rosso, wanted to come up with a more dynamic and imaginative line of clothing than was created before. He hired an innovative group of new thinkers and the open-minded fresh designers were given broad stylistic freedom, hoping they could create a line of clothing perfect for people who follow their own independent path in life.

And the path for successful living started.

Diesel staff and their creative working ways have been so unconventional ever since, that the company has been profiled in countless magazines, newspapers and documentary television programmes, and have been studied by international consulting organizations, universities and business schools thoughout the years.


Diesel Concept Store in Atlanta opened in October 2007,
photo by Social Diva

First Diesel concept store in the U.S. was opened in New York City in 1996, and a new era jean-revolution started. The Diesel jeans were first embraced only by the fashion-forwarded trendsetters in the city, but soon relished by the rest of the trendy crowd accross the nation.

It was also 1996, when Renzo Rosso and Diesel received the “Premio Risultati” award from the Bocconi Institute in Milan for being the “Best Italian Company of the Year”. The next year Renzo was nominated by American Ernst & Young as “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the company’s amazing visibility in the U.S.

Today Diesel has over 30 concept stores in the United States.


Moments in history ad campaing from 1997

While the designer clothing, and all the other products Diesel offers, including shoes, fragances and watches, of course have it’s appeal, the thing what makes Diesel to stand out in the fashion industry, is their award winning ad campaigns.

What sets Diesel’s ad campaings different from other companies is that they start with the thought that trendy people in the world are the same – thus their ads are the same around the world, and they are not specified for the geographic target market.

Today we Work Hard Campaign from 2003
Text in the ad: Today we work hard to plug in the videogame

Secondly, Diesel makes fun of advertising and the trends themselves by making satires, and clearly empty promises. While other products are trying to make you think you will look trendier, sexier and more successful by using their products, Diesel makes you re-think the traditional ads and the goal of uniting you or your look with the masses. They raise questions of political, racial, ecological and religious tabus and they aggravate feelings in all the colors of the rainbow from laughter to disgust.

Golbal Warming Ready Campaign from 2007

What really shows in the sales figures though is the crossover appeal. While many other fashion brands are consumed by a specific target market, the Diesel users can be found in every age and sociological group. While some jeans are for the country gals, others for the hip hop fans, Diesel is woren as proudly at the teen scene as by the young professionals at the office.

Live Fast Campaign, spring 2008


Diesel is one of my all time favorite jeans brands, and that’s all I wore when I still lived in Europe. I was devistated Diesel wasn’t available all around the US when I moved here, more devistated that the Texan college kids my husband called friends, laughed at my Diesel jeans.

This was ten years ago, and obviously they hadn’t visited the first concept store in NYC.

Then motherhood hit me (and the baby pounds). Let’s just say I had the normal thought, “when I’m one or two sizes smaller, I’ll splurge on designer jeans” and that never happened. Until now – and I’m really craving for a fresh pair of Diesels.

I was checking out the latest denims at Diesel, and I couldn’t believe they run for over 200 bucks these days! But I guess that’s what happens when a brand becomes a cult.

Yeah, get some Diesel Baby

But how I would love to shop at Diesel, and not just for me, but for my family too. The watches, the shoes… it’s all good.

Design Boom interview with Renzo Rosso
Kit me Out brand profile

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