It's wild to think we wanted things before Instagram, but well before The Algorithm ruled our daily lives, cool kids knew about Diesel jeans. They fit tight and low, with the clothing label sewn diagonally across the front pocket, just so everyone knew whose pelvic bone belonged to the Italian denim company beloved by Paris and Beyoncé. And then, like other Y2K imperatives — "freedom fries," TRL viewing, a feigned respect for the misogyny porn of "American Beauty" — Diesel jeans faded away.
Or were they just hibernating?
Twenty years later, the sleeping giant of Diesel is back. It started quietly, with TikTok rumbles and Depop sales, as Gen Z decided to go all-in on Y2K worship. Diesel's bodycon fits and throwback sex appeal did the trick for our Euphoria dreams, and soon The Charlies — D'Amelio and XCX — tagged it online. Soon came the Sisters Hadid, yes Gigi and Bella have boosted the brand's signal of late. And then, the big reveal: In November 2021, Diesel had hired Glenn Martens as its new creative director.
What's his deal? He's Belgian, like Martin Margiela (another brand owned by Diesel billionaire Renzo Rosso) and his own label, Y/Project is famous for its supercool take on sex goddess style. (Think tank dresses printed with voluptuous nude torsos and puffer coats that show your abs.) Previously he was the creative mastermind at Jean Paul Gaultier (another in-the-works brand renaissance this year), and just today was crowned the year's "most intriguing designer," by i-D.
This is Megan Fox level Venus Envy, and now it's happening in denim.
That's why you can currently see skintight, sculpture-quality Diesel jeans on sale in the Diesel Library, which somehow feels like shopping via dial-up internet and into the future at the same time, but you can also buy loose-legged, high-waisted, boot-pant hybrids that scream Julia Fox for $1,250(!). It's why fashion savants like the Hadids and Saweeties of the world are the proto-Diesel babes of 2022. But even if you can't score the new "elevated" version — or would rather curb your carbon emissions instead of buying brand new jeans — the Diesel life can still be for you. After all, those Y2K pants once flaunted at Bungalow 8 by Devon Aoki (and now immortalized on TikTok's indie sleaze feed)? They're all over resale sites, for under $100. And if that isn't retro, we don't know what is.
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