Diesel creative director Glenn Martens shared an open letter announcing two brand-led initiatives celebrating the LGBTQ+ community ahead of Pride Month in June.
In partnership with art organization Tom of Finland Foundation and Paris art gallery The Community, the OTB Group-owned brand is funding “AllTogether,” a two-installment homoerotic art exhibition showcasing more than 200 pieces dating back to the 1940s. The exhibition will run through June 26 in Paris and Venice and offer exclusive T-shirt and tote bag merchandise for sale.
This is the Tom of Finland Foundation’s first exhibition of its kind outside of Tom House in Los Angeles, which was home to the erotic artwork of Touko Laaksonen, the late artist known as Tom of Finland. The foundation launched in 1984 to preserve his work and compile what it calls the world’s most extensive collection of LGBTQIA+ art.
“We want to bring a light to a long legacy of queer imagination and perseverance worldwide,” Martens said in the letter. “Stories of artists in which many have faced discrimination and misrepresentation due to the nature of who they are and what they create.”
He added that the multi-tiered approach to this year’s Pride celebration “demonstrates my own viewpoint—and Diesel’s position—of needing to amplify our social responsibility.”
Alongside the exhibition will be a capsule collection featuring artwork from seven creators included in the art show: Silvia Prada, whose collage of shirtless men is digitally printed in grayscale puzzle pieces on a collared shirt; Florian Hetz, whose photograph of tightly crossed arms is plastered on a dark brown hoodie; and Peter Berlin, whose self portrait appears on a T-shirt.
Other creators include Palanca, Michael Kirwan, Paul Tankersley, also known as Tank, and Heather Benjamin.
The collection spans intimates, bags, polos, shorts, sweatpants and tank tops, as well as genderless white denim pieces including a Trucker jacket, pants and shorts with a patch featuring the words “AllTogether by Tom Finland Foundation and The Community with Diesel.” The range is available now on diesel.com and in Diesel stores around the world, with the exception of China.
Diesel has a history of envelope-pushing marketing campaigns that often weave in sex and homo-erotica. In 2020, the brand debuted the “When Together” campaign centering on reunited lovers clad in denim. Launched on Valentine’s Day, it featured a short film and still imagery capturing real couples of all backgrounds, sexual orientations and ages celebrating their love after being deprived of in-person connection for so long. It also debuted co-branded sex toys in partnership with sexual wellness company Lelo in April.
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.