There’s nothing quite like the comeback of a fashion brand, like when a label assumed almost obsolete is kissed by fashion’s magic and awoken from its beauty sleep. We witnessed it with the transformation of Chanel from a brand left aimless without the guidance of its founder to a global fashion powerhouse at the hands of Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s. And more recently, with Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga, from designers lost in the sea of luxury to modern-day cult favorites. Now it appears it’s Diesel’s turn for a fashionable resurgence.
Diesel’s recent runway collections by creative director Glenn Martens have spouted a cohort of new covetable designs, helping to catapult the Diesel name into fashion headlines once more. From transparent knitted dresses and a continuation of Diesel’s signature denim love to logoed belt skirts, which have unsurprisingly sent Gen Z into a frenzy, there’s no shortage of Diesel designs cooking up a storm this season.
But it’s Diesel’s new cache of handbags that seem to have caught the attention of the fashion set most of all. Diesel bags are proving the latest must-have designer accessory on every style aficionado’s arm and wish list. But what’s causing this sudden interest in Diesel handbags…and why?
The Magic Of The Diesel Brand
Diesel was launched as a denim brand back in Italy in the 1970s, however, the label has always been about more than denim and Italian craftsmanship. Dubbed the rebel brand by fashion critics, Diesel boasts a cool without trying persona, which feels almost as unattainable as purchasing a Birkin brand new from the Hermès store (well, not quite).
Diesel is Italian, yet you would be forgiven for never associating the brand with its Italian roots. This is reportedly by design. Diesel has always been about creating worldwide appeal. After all, coolness is universal.
This ability to attract trendsetters from across the globe translates to Diesel’s newest must-have bags, from micro flap bag styles featuring Diesel’s unmistakable logo to slouchy oversized denim totes. Diesel is dipping its toes in several big bag trends of the moment whilst staying true to its identity as a brand notorious for not following trends.
A contradiction in the most stylish of forms.
Fashion’s Latest Diesel Bag Obsessions
This new wave of Diesel bags is flashy yet sleek, fun yet functional, and branded yet understated. In short, they give the wearer a sense of innate style associated with only the coolest of fashion aficionados. Diesel’s utilitarian approach to bags doesn’t mean skimping on decorative appeal.
The assortment of metallic finishes, neon hues, and Diesel’s trademark distressed denim featured in its new range of bags is anything but mundane. These standout style elements signify that Diesel bags are back with a bang.
Oversized slouchy totes reminiscent of 2010s style and unstructured denim clutch bags sporting the brand’s unmistakable D insignia were amongst the accessories catching attention at Martens’ Fall/Winter 2022 show for Diesel. Other new Diesel favorites include the brand’s Nappa leather bucket bag available in a selection of covetable colorways, the Diesel Moon-S design, and denim shoulder bags complete with belt straps (a favorite of Dua Lipa).
Bowler bags and top handle styles in avant-garde silhouettes are the latest designs to join the ranks of Diesel’s must-have handbags for Resort 2023. But there’s one Diesel design in particular, which has been touted as fashion’s next ‘It’ bag: The Diesel 1DR is fresh for Spring/Summer 2022 and is everything an ‘It’ bag should be. Designed by Martens, the Diesel 1DR’s tried and tested flap bag style has become an instant hit and has been spotted on the arms of Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, and more.
From the sleek lines and functional flap opening to the prominent logo plaque, the design just makes sense. It boasts a sporty aesthetic whilst retaining high fashion appeal. In short, it’s the kind of bag you can’t quite describe why it’s so cool, only that it is so cool. And in typical ‘It’ bag fashion, no one quite saw it coming.
The Influence of Y2K Style
Fashion’s newfound obsession with all things Diesel can’t be referenced without mentioning the revival of Y2K style. Everything from Diesel’s carefree cool-girl aesthetic to its overdose of denim fits perfectly with fashion’s current Y2K resurgence. Martens has leveraged Diesel’s association with early 2000s style, making fashion insiders and shoppers take note.
What’s even more impressive about the recent success of Diesel’s Y2K-inspired accessories is that Diesel handbags never ruled early 2000s style in the same way that designs from other brands did at the time. On reflection, there is a Diesel handbag-shaped hole in the era’s assortment of must-have bags. Perhaps Diesel is using Y2K mania to redefine its association with the decade.
Other brands have similarly capitalized on contemporary love for early 2000s style by revisiting their association with this notoriously flashy time period in fashion. Blumarine’s recent use of pink fur trim and butterfly motifs is likely more identifiable with Y2K style than the label’s collections from the 2000s.
A New Kind Of Luxury?
Something must be said for the affordable price of Diesel’s latest lust-worthy bags. With prices for the Diesel 1DR bag starting at $275 for the smallest size and the label’s other new styles sticking to a similarly affordable price point, it raises the question – are Diesel bags luxury?
Price increases have become something of a staple for the biggest names in luxury in recent years, so it’s natural for shoppers to judge the relevance of a bag based on the dent it will make in their savings. But it seems Diesel, akin to other brands boasting a Gen Z-heavy fanbase, is helping to pave the way for a new kind of luxury.
One is less defined by price and prestige and instead about the appeal and uniqueness of its designs. So in a way Diesel’s sudden burst into the handbag spotlight sort of makes sense. Who needs to follow trends and chase hype when you’re the coolest brand at fashion week?