Diesel Faces the Future

Diesel is set to turn 30 next year

It seems that the fashion brand has already started celebrating, with a new advertising campaign shot by photographer Johan Renck launching this month on the back of a successful Spring/Summer 08 fashion show that saw the label using advanced CGI and hologram technology live on the catwalk.

For over 25 of those 30 years, creative director Wilbert Das has worked on Diesel’s irreverent ad campaigns (along with his creative team). The latest offerings look far into the future but, in typical Diesel style, are quick to reveal that perhaps the world of tomorrow won’t quite be what we imagined. “It’s based on what our ideas of the future were in the 1980s and 90s,” Das explains. “In the 80s I was thinking that in 2000 everything would be in chrome, that we’d be flying around. Now, in 2007, nothing has really changed: people like rustic things, organic food, everything that brings us back to our roots, instead of chrome and plastic.”

Working with their ad agency, Paris-based Marcel, Diesel’s creative team decided on the idea of “Human after all” as the theme for the new campaign. The tenet of the various executions being that, while the future offers up technological advances in all their shiny glory, people still face queuing in the post office and bank, or waiting hours for delayed flights. The campaign was shot in London (a rarity for Diesel projects) by Renck, who has previously found success as a promo director before concentrating on his photography. The enormous sets were also constructed on-site and included a car showroom, a cloning centre and a laboratory.

While it certainly looked futuristic, Diesel’s catwalk show, Liquid Space, actually took place in Florence earlier this month. As models paced up and down the runway, a host of polyp-like CGI characters appeared in mid-air to interact with them within an underwater landscape that was viewable from both sides of the stage. Diesel brought together Barcelona animation studio Dvein, who worked on the CGI visual effects and 3D animations, and Danish multi-media production agency, Vizoo, who provided the innovative technology for the show, which they had designed and built themselves.

Diesel was coy about the process but one creative, on condition of anonymity, offered this explanation: “The visuals were projected through a series of ‘foils’ into mid-air so the models could interact with them and walk through them. We used plastic foils placed at 45 degree angles so that the projected light from the ceiling went onto a foil, was reflected on to another and then into the air.” n


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