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Diesel’s Latest Venture is Causing a Buzz

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Though most denim brands’ marketing campaigns inspire customers to wear their jeans, Diesel’s latest venture calls on customers to take them off.

The Italian denim brand known for pushing boundaries just announced a partnership with sexual wellness company Lelo that offers a limited-edition range of co-branded sex toys in Diesel’s signature red featuring phrases like “turn me on” and “all I need is a charge.” The collection includes two of the wellness brand’s top-selling items, the Tor 2 couples’ ring and the Sona Cruise vibrator.

The limited-edition range is now available on both brands’ websites and in select Diesel stores for $120 for the Tor 2 and $150 for the Sona Cruise.

“We at Lelo are pioneers, and we are always happy to collaborate with like-minded brands that inspire and empower people to express their style,” said Luka Matutinović, Lelo’s chief marketing officer. “Our partnership with Diesel is crucial, as it showcases a union between fashion and sex-tech and highlights how sexual wellness is seamlessly incorporated in our daily life, just like a pair of jeans.”

The venture is a natural next step for the brand, which often uses bold subject matter and cheeky humor in its advertisements. Its post-pandemic “When Together” campaign debuted on Valentine’s Day 2021 and showcased a series of denim-clad couples of different backgrounds, sexual orientations and ages celebrating their love after being deprived of in-person connection. At the time, Diesel’s creative director Glenn Martens commented on the edgy campaign, saying “Diesel, for me, has always stood as a radical player with its blunt honesty and its sense of fun.” The brand is continuing to add sex appeal to denim with denim bralettes, low-rise jeans with shredded waistbands and micro-length wrap skirts presented in its Fall/Winter 2022-2023 runway show.

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Denim’s inherent sex appeal makes it the medium of choice for this kind of collaboration. In 2017, condom company Durex introduced a range of condoms to its India market that featured a slimmer packet designed to disappear in body-hugging jean pockets. The product and its accompanying campaign aimed to break the taboo of buying and carrying condoms in India, where condom use was not widely adopted.

Diesel’s collaboration with Lelo introduces it to the sexual wellness market which, according to market research provider Arizton, is expected to reach $9.34 billion by 2026. In 2020, the sex toys segment led the market, with a share of 52.01 percent.

Diesel has been rapidly expanding into new markets ever since its rebrand, led by Martens after he joined the company in October 2020. Since then, the brand underwent a “restyling” of its e-commerce sites—which gave parent company OTB a 6 percent boost in direct online sales from 2020—expanded into pet accessories and clothing, and ventured into the metaverse. In December, OTB debuted Brave Virtual Xperience (BVX), a business unit led by Stefano Rosso, a member of the OTB board of directors. The unit is dedicated to developing products for the metaverse, and will help the company connect with younger demographics most likely to spearhead the shift to the digital community.