After working closely with Diesel on its Diesel Red Tag initiative in 2018, Y/Project creative director Glenn Martens is joining the Italian denim brand in a more official capacity as creative director effective immediately.
As Diesel’s new creative director, Martens will be responsible for the global brand’s style communications, interior design and more.
“I am extremely honored and excited to join the Diesel family. Synonymous with radicality, honesty, and optimism, Diesel helped shape the way we see the future,” Martens said in a statement. “Its unique voice has made it an undeniable icon. Today, more than ever, I feel the need to celebrate these founding values, to build bridges through a message of hope.”
Paris-based Martens is a Belgian designer who started his career at Jean Paul Gaultier, and since 2013 has led the creative direction of high-end streetwear brand Y/Project. The label is best known for its deconstructed denim garments as well as revealing items like denim panties. This summer, Martens introduced a collection of Y/Project’s bestsellers recreated with sustainable fabrics and processes.
In 2017, Martens won the French fashion award ANDAM, and in 2018 was one of the guest designers of Diesel’s experimental capsule series Diesel Red Tag. It was during that time that Martens and Renzo Rosso, president of Diesel’s parent company OTB, formed a close partnership.
“Working with [Martens] on Diesel Red Tag, going through our company’s archives and heritage together and seeing him interact with the brand brought us closer, and I am happy to now see him take the helm of Diesel, where he will marry his design vision with the iconoclastic values of this unique brand,” Rosso stated.
In the past, Diesel has appointed executives from prominent brands, including Balmain’s Massimo Piombini, who is now Diesel’s CEO, and Patrick Valeo, who was previously with luxury goods company MCM and now serves as Diesel North America CEO.
The news comes just days after OTB secured a loan of 50 million euros ($58 million) from Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Italian government’s investment arm. In addition to Diesel, OTB owns Maison Margiela, Viktor&Rolf, Marni, Amiri, and companies Staff International and Brave Kid.