20th November 2019

5D – The History of Diesel

Diesel makes its presence felt with a new book celebrating its storied history

There is probably no fabric more ubiquitous in fashion than denim.  It’s hard to imagine a fashion company, house or brand that doesn’t use it in nearly every collection they make each year.  It has long since moved from being the mainstay of the farmhands and mineworkers of yesteryear to being fashion’s most famous ‘go-to’ when nothing else in your wardrobe seems to be working for you.  Giant multinational companies, like Levi’s, Guess and Wrangler have been built on the back of the fabric and Diesel is no different – while being very different at the same time.

Since its launch in 1978 Diesel has always been the alternative denim option for the more creatively minded consumer.  The designs of its clothes always stood out as being ahead of its time, while they waited for the rest of world to catch up (which we did – a few times).  This was the legacy of the founder, Renzo Rosso (main picture), once dubbed the ‘Jeans Genius’ by legendary fashion journalist Suzy Menkes.  His bold forward thinking designs helped to turn denim from utility workwear into desirable fashion item in short order, assisted by a new approach to marketing that underscored this fact to the wider public and marked them out as the company to watch for the future.  Sometimes people fall into what they do and sometimes people are simply born to it.  Rosso made his first pair of jeans on his mother’s sewing machine when he was just 15-years-old and, from there, there was never going to be any looking back.

Diesel as a company now has a forty-year history in fashion to proudly look back on and they’re celebrating that history with a heavyweight new retrospective book detailing the rise of one of the world’s most successful denim brands.   Titled, 5D: DEISEL, DREAM, DISRUPTION, DEVIATION, DENIM, the name represents the four pillars on which the brand was built.

“In 1978, DIESEL came into being. It was the moment of alternative energy.  We’ve continued with that energy and that fearlessness through to the present. At the core, there’s no difference between who you are and how you identify. DIESEL is an attitude, and it always will be.” – Renzo Rosso

The book itself details the extraordinary rise of the company, punctuating the many anecdotal stories and testimonials with hundreds of revealing images from the Diesel archives in Breganze, Italy.  Rare collector’s items from seasons gone by – sourced from flea markets and re-sellers around the globe – are presented along historical campaign images that document Diesel’s core irreverent and disruptive nature from the outset.  The project, edited by fashion writer Susie Lau, promises to take an uncompromising look at the Diesel approach while celebrating the singularity and tenacity with which Diesel took the premium fashion market by storm.  You can see just how uncompromising it is  by picking up a copy of 5D: DEISEL, DREAM, DISRUPTION, DEVIATION, DENIM, available now.


The book is available to buy at all Diesel stores, top booksellers and on the Diesel website.

Click here to read about Dior’s new book, The Dior Sessions.


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