Diesel’s Milan Fashion Week show opens against a backdrop of 200,000 condoms
Wednesday’s guests at Diesel’s Milan Fashion Week event may have been astonished by the set: a big condom mountain. The Italian brand debuted its Fall-Winter 2023 collection against a backdrop of more than two hundred thousand Durex boxes, alluding to both sex positivity and an upcoming cooperation with the contraceptive business.
Creative director Glenn Martens stated in a statement, “We enjoy playing at Diesel, but we take it seriously.”
In fact, the entire collection explored notions of freedom, pleasure, and exploration, with models parading around the condom avalanche in ultra-low-rise jeans, denim outfits with sheer meshed lace panels, and shredded silk skirts secured by chains that appeared perilous.
The accompanying techno soundtrack was peppered with passionate moans, emphasizing Martens’s desire to push the envelope.
Since assuming the role of creative director in October 2020, the Belgian designer has moved Diesel, a brand renowned for its provocative marketing and upscale jeans style, toward more experimental uses of denim. Also, he has experimented with upcycling. This collection alone contained nylon that was coated with another type of plastic and heated, faux fur that was painted to appear nearly liquid, and motorcycle jackets that were converted into structural pieces using a blow torch.
Moreover, he has made Diesel’s set design a topic of conversation during fashion week.
During Martens’ post-pandemic return to the runway in February 2022, the brand greeted guests with five inflatables adopting a series of poses characterized by Diesel as “confident, enthusiastic, and proud.” Each was based on a real person and was between 25 and 55 feet broad. Invitations to the show featured an edible red-and-white candy thong.
Then, for its Spring-Summer 2023 presentation in September of last year, Diesel created a massive inflatable that set a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest inflatable sculpture. (The designer also extended an invitation to the general public to attend the presentation, breaking with fashion week’s elite conventions to host 5,000 guests.)
The condom “mountain,” as defined by Diesel, created yet another viral moment under Martens’ supervision, promoting both the brand’s new collection and safe sex. In keeping with the theme, invites were given in the shape of Durex packs, and a post-runway news statement stated that in April, Diesel will distribute an additional 300,000 condoms in its stores throughout the world. On a jersey T-shirt shown on the runway on Wednesday, the famous Diesel “D” insignia was replaced with Durex’s “D” logo, hinting at what’s to come.
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