It’s hard to imagine a fashion brand bold enough to release advertisements that illustrate a world post-global warming, where models vacation at a tropical Mt. Rushmore and sunbathe on buildings in a drowning New York City, but Diesel did just that–and in 2007, no less. Diesel’s provocative history is further detailed in 5D: Diesel, Dream, Disruption, Deviation, Denim, from founder Renzo Rosso’s first pair of jeans (which he made when he was 15 using his mother’s sewing machine), to the brand’s genesis in 1978, and those era-defining ads. More than just a fashion history book, though, Rosso takes readers through the early days of his career in fashion, reminiscing on his first job at a Daily Blue denim factory: “On my first day, they left me alone in the factory and I had no idea what I was doing.” Also detailed in the book are the various locations that inspired Rosso’s collections throughout the decades, from Russia to Venice Beach to León, Mexico—where he fell in love with the cowboy boots. (“I bought 1,000 pairs to bring back to Italy.”)
The book is filled with images showcasing the breadth of Diesel’s archived collections, a history that includes leather-clad punk looks alongside Japanese-inspired, denim-covered silhouettes. Suffused across its pages, however, is the indefatigable spirit of Diesel, one that Rosso likens to a state of mind that has persevered across its 40-odd years of existence: “We’ve continued with that energy and that fearlessness through to the present. Diesel is an attitude, and it always will be.” 5D: Diesel, Dream, Disruption, Deviation, Denim speaks not just to the brand’s reputation for crafting world-renowned denim, but also to the overarching life-affirming power of that age-old fabric.
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