by Stephen Garner

Glenn Martens revealed his first full collection as creative director of Diesel on Monday. The Italian denim brand’s new spring/summer 2022 collection was presented through a short film live-streamed from Milan as part of Milan Fashion Week Men’s.

The short film—made in collaboration with the artist and director Frank Lebon, and soundtracked by the British musician Leon Vynehall—lenses four sections of Diesel’s evolved world as seen through Martens’ eyes.

The film blurs the lines between reality and a dream. Viewers follow the main character moving through a familiar yet slightly askew environment. It begins in a home setting, suggestive of a late-night scene. From there, a shot of an urban street takes form, recalling daily—and sometimes frenetic—city living. Next, an elevator ride, which captures a kind of tailored take on both Diesel’s heritage and Martens’ aesthetic. The film concludes in a trippy, alien room that’s bathed in a deep red filter; we’re not quite sure if it’s meant to be dreamt or actual, or somewhere in between.

Throughout this storyline, Martens’ focuses of denim, menswear, womenswear, and experimentalism are all portrayed. Together, they become something new, galvanizing, unusual, and entirely individual. Martens’ concept is a contemporary interpretation of Diesel’s bold and ironic history. Notable overarching points include an all-gender approach, a heritage component, and the newly introduced Diesel Library.

Key collection highlights include an interwoven belt accent, which holds together t-shirts, tops, and dresses. Looping through cutouts in the garments, these belts function as a kind of backbone, anchoring each item in an inventive new drape and form. Five-pocket denim trousers with integrated boots are also a standout: these pants are either high-waisted or of a medium rise and feature various denim washes. They flow into sewn-in cowboy boots or pointed-toe booties. The heritage—and often upcycled— chapter holds reused deadstock Diesel denim, including an artisanal lattice-detailed, smocked, and floor-grazing topcoat. Additional upcycled jersey pieces are cut-and-sewn—and dyed—to create new jumpers and bombers.

Diesel’s heritage has been reinterpreted on blazers, shirts, and denim trousers that depict a laser-print forming a trompe l’oeil effect of layers and seaming. There are also second-skin jersey pieces that are all-over printed with heritage denim washes and archival Diesel patches. Lastly, a series of denim pieces with embossed Diesel logos add to the sculptural side of Martens’ output. As the transition morphs into the more experimental and cerebral, printed and smocked organza pieces—all with cracked paint motifs—become marquee looks.

Denim was, is, and always will be Diesel’s core item – it comprises the majority of the company’s revenues. The spring/summer 2022 collection sees the introduction of Diesel Library, a sustainable made-to-stay collection component that holds genderless jeans, shirts, tops, skirts, shorts, and more. Diesel Library will act as a fundamental baseline for each seasonal collection, and it will remain permanent. It reflects the company’s new sustainability-forward mantra, providing clothing types and items that may be bought less often—and worn longer. All of these items have a permanent shelf life. This launch marks a major step in Martens’ evolution of Diesel, continuing its position as a power player in defining the culture—and no fabric is more culturally relevant than denim.

A selection of key looks will be available starting from September 2021 in select stores and on