Yesterday, some 5,000 people pulled up to Diesel’s SS23 show in Milan, which was held in an indoor stadium and open to the public. Looking at the crowd, who snapped up every available ticket in less than 90 minutes when they were released, you’d think that Diesel had somehow pulled off the most ambitious dressed-by-the-brand scheme in fashion week history: Hundreds, if not thousands, of attendees were wearing Diesel—some in pieces creative director Glenn Martens’ widely hailed debut collections, others in vintage leather jackets and tiny logo tees.
The reality, of course, was much simpler: only a few people there, like Julia Fox, Evan Mock, Skepta, Normani, Ashton Sanders, and Lil Dre, were styled for the occasion. The rest of the crowd, which included around 1,600 fashion students, had gone out and bought it themselves. “The idea is always to be the alternative to luxury, and be a democratic brand,” Martens said after the show, only his second since taking the helm of Italy’s rebellious denim export at the end of 2020. (He also serves as creative director of Y/Project.) As Fox surveyed the scene backstage, where fresh-faced models and young supporters were hugging and applauding, she summed up how wildly successful Martens has been: “I feel like Diesel really speaks to the youth, the kids,” Fox said. “We love to see it.” Martens walks the walk, too: by his count, more than 4,300 of the attendees were at their very first fashion show.