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Diesel and GR8 Put Artists Front and Center in New Collaboration

Keying into its global brand recognition, Diesel introduced Tuesday a new collaboration with GR8, the cutting-edge destination for contemporary fashion and streetwear concept store in Tokyo’s trend-setting Harajuku neighborhood.

The partnership links the Italian denim brand with eight Japanese and international designers and artists in a 36-piece capsule collection that represents ideas from each of the creatives—all curated by GR8 owner Mitsuhiro Kubo.

The idea for the collaboration was born at a party in Tokyo where Diesel founder Renzo Rosso met Kubo and found that they share a common appreciation for the capital’s vibrant social scene and niche regional fashion labels.

“I have always been drawn to Tokyo and this will never change, even though the city is always changing,” Rosso said in a statement. “This new initiative between Diesel and GR8, and Kubo’s network, shows a very modern and innovative way to ‘collaborate,’ which is a word that is now ubiquitous in fashion.”

By collaborating on a “niche scale,” Rosso added that the pieces become more rare and special. The overall collection is based on Diesel denim, jackets, sweats, and T-shirts with a focus on unisex fits and designs. Each of the eight creatives have given these pieces their own unique expression by applying photography, illustration, calligraphy and typography to the apparel.

High-visibility colors and complex graphics are at the core of the Diesel x GR8 collaboration. Japanese label #FR2 mixed typography and graphics to underscore a message of danger. Hybrid fashion brand D.TT.K. repurposed an early Diesel print into a new “geometric gradation” graphic. Neglect Adult Patients offers bold graphics, while Revolver brings colorful designs inspired by music and art to the collection. Rogic also uses bright colors and pattern to represent the significance of Diesel in pop culture.

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The collection also brought together creatives with different specialties. Los Angeles-based artist Cali Thornhill DeWitt and the upcycling-focused designer Yuta Hosokawa brought together a mixture of strong graphics, old English fonts and flame patterns for their contribution to the project. Toykyo-based photographer and filmmaker Koji Ueda and graphic designer Kosuke Kawamura combined their aesthetics for an abstract concept they describe as “conscious unconsciousness.”

And former Diesel collaborator, Jun Inagawa, brought a representation of Japanese culture to the Diesel garments through his illustrations.

The eclectic designs will come together in a popup concept design that Kubo describes as a “playground.” The collection will launch Sept. 4 at Diesel’s major Japanese stores and Japanese e-commerce site, and at GR8’s Harajuku store and online shop.