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Courtesy of Diesel

Diesel’s new book celebrates 40 years of denim disruption

The retrospective tome traces the evolution of the Italian brand’s iconic denim over the years

Since founding Diesel in Italy during the late 70s, Renzo Rosso has changed the way the world views denim. From the label’s thought-provoking campaigns to initiatives such as the Diesel Red Tag project, Rosso’s unique approach to the material that sits at the core of his brand has reached people far and wide. Now, 41 years later, Diesel is celebrating his successes and releasing a brand new retrospective book titled:  ‘DIESEL, DREAM, DISRUPTION, DEVIATION, DENIM’. 

Produced by Rizzoli and edited by fashion writer Susie Lau, the forthcoming book highlights all the key moments that saw Rosso go from a 15-year-old making his first pair of jeans using his mother’s sewing machine to a household name. Throughout the 142 pages, countless images of garments from Diesel’s Breganze archive appear. While some of the pieces showcased by the book are classic pairs of Diesel denim jeans, others are distinctive items found in thrift stores by Rosso and his team. “All Diesel denims have a particular DNA. I have more than 200 in my wardrobe for  all seasons and of all types, colours, treatments and silhouettes,” Rosso enthuses.“The beauty is that I can choose my favourite according to my mood and the occasion.”

Elsewhere in the book you’ll find personal contributions and letters from Diesel employees who all reflect on what the brand means to them. Many of these recollections reference how Diesel denim became a sign of rebelling against the status quo and more relaxed silhouettes favoured by older generations. “In the 70s, it was a rebellion sign – a contrasting symbol between parents and sons,” Rosso agrees, going on to explain how denim became a fabric that symbolised liberation. “The adults wore pants with pleats while the teenagers wore skinny jeans. At the time, denim was the sign of a social movement based on courage and freedom. That caught my attention and made me want to feel part of it.”

The book is available in Diesel stores and online now and from November 19 in Rizzoli stores and bookshops worldwide.