Ten Questions: Glenn Martens On His Diesel Red Tag Project
“Go With The Flaw,” was Glenn Martens’ self-designated motto and Diesel slogan for his collaboration with Diesel’s second Red Tag Project. Forget waking up flawless, Martens is encouraging waking up flaw-ful – and flaws are totally cherished and loved when they come in the form of new, clever clothes. We grilled Glenn on the collaboration with a series of Ten Questions to get the all-you-need-to-know. The only way to do it:
ROXY LOLA: What was your first thought when you were approached to do this collaboration?
GLENN MARTENS: Diesel has always a been a brand which challenged the norm. Their ad campaigns, back in the 90’s and 00’s have changed our way of seeing the world. Renzo opened our eyes and pointed out that the world how we knew back then was not always ok.… he showed us the real world. This is exactly why I accepted the collab. I’m really proud being part of this brand’s amazing story.
RL: You’ve said you’ll be showing about 10 looks (great number). Did you decide to keep the Red Tag collection at this number? Why?
GM: In global we could make approximately 10 looks. At the end we decided to only show six. Each look is worn by a group of 4 people. They all wear the same set but styled differently. The idea is to underline the versatility of the collection. So we actually show 24 looks in six groups of four models.
RL: You love working with denim – how was it different designing it for Diesel?
GM: This collection is guided by a quite rigid concept. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed so true to one global story. The concept, the models, the presentation, the shoots, all follow this one global concept. Same counts for the denim. At the end of course, technicality of construction overlaps with a classic Y/Project twist so the design approach wasn’t that different.
RL: What were you thinking about whilst designing this collection? Give us the inspiration lowdown? Did you go through the Diesel archives?
GM: One of Diesel’s slogan’s is “go with the flaw.” The full collection is basically built on this ideal. Every single piece has a huge pattern mistake. The waists are basically fit for a newborn while the rest of the fit is oversized. This creates a conic shape which ends up looking quite iconic. The sides, the front and the back are buttoned up so you need to keep your piece opened somehow to fit in them. you need to embrace the mistake and make it your own.
RL: How did your creative/ design process differ from when creating for Y/ Project?
GM: The whole idea was to see Diesel through my eyes. So it was very important to keep my signature. Each piece is based on a Diesel classic. The basic denims, track suits, colourful T-shirts etc. The constructive concept connecting the full collection is that Slogan. The rest is mine.
RL: Who do you see wearing this collection?
GM: The look-book for the capsule was lensed by one of my favourite artists: Hans Eijkelboom, whose work we all know through his book “People of the Twenty-First Century.” I’m extremely honoured as this is the first time Eijkelboom accepted to collaborate with a fashion brand. Hans’ work is connecting many different type of people through one key item, that’s what I try to do with this collection: connect many different type of people through the versatility of the garment. This is exactly core to Diesel’s brand identity. They have always been that brand talking to everybody.
RL: What’s on the ultimate Glenn Martens x Diesel Red Tag playlist?
GM: My sound-designer has been recording public places in paris. That’s what you’ll be hearing at our presentation. The reality of the street.
RL: You said this collection is going to be about what Diesel should stand for now – what exactly is that according to you?
GM: Diesel has always been about people who take the challenge.
RL: First words that come to mind when thinking about the colour red?
GM: The cliché: passion
RL: Where are the Glenn Martens x Diesel Red Tag men and women going? Is this reality or fantasy?
GM: Both. the collection is completely versatile; it will become whatever you want it to be.