Belgian designer, Glenn Martens has just been named creative director of Diesel, where he will oversee style, communications, interior design, and the brand’s overall creativity, effective immediately.
A Bruges-native, Glenn Martens originally studied interior design in Ghent, before applying to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (the most rigorous fashion school in the world), with a portfolio of furniture sketches). He became one of the brightest students, which enabled him to land his first job at Jean Paul Gauthier, who saw his graduate collection, and immediately hired Martens to design his womenswear pre-collections and his men’s label, G2. Glenn, then, became the right hand of Yohan Serfarty, founder of Y/Project, one of the most celebrated Parisian menswear brands. When Serfarty died from cancer in 2013, Glenn took on the role of the creative director of the brand, which he holds to the present day. Martens launched the highly profitable womenswear line and made a name for himself in the industry for his deconstructive denim designs, avant-garde silhouettes, and historical references. Rihanna and Solange Knowles are both among his fans.
Martens likes to push boundaries, playing with textures, forms, and contrasts. Mixing Paris’ elegance with “bad taste” aesthetics, fusing his favourite cultural references, ranging from Napoleon’s or Henry VIII’s portraits to Flemish Old Masters’ paintings. Glenn has an easy experimenting approach to fashion and loves to surprise his audience (see his notorious high-heeled Uggs boots collaboration).
In 2017, Martens won the ANDAM Grand Prix (Martin Margiela, Anthony Vaccarello, Jeremy Scott are also among the past winners of the prestigious fashion prize). This is where Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel and Only The Brave Fashion group, who sponsor the prize, spotted him for the first time. In 2018, Rosso invited Glenn to design pieces for the Diesel Red Tag project, marking Diesel’s 40th anniversary. The master of denim innovations, Martens seems to be a perfect choice to head the iconic jeans brand. “Ever since I met Glenn I saw his experience grow and his talent cement”, said Renzo Rosso. “Working with him on Diesel Red Tag, going through our company’s archives and heritage together, seeing him interact with the brand brought us closer and we are happy now to see him take the helm of Diesel, where he will marry his design vision with the iconoclastic values of this unique brand.”
“I am extremely honored and excited to join the Diesel family,” Glenn Martens says. “Synonymous with radicality, honesty, and optimism, Diesel helped shape the way we see the future. Its unique voice has made it an undeniable icon. Today, more than ever, I feel the need to celebrate these founding values, to build bridges through a message of hope.”
The collection reveal date is still TBC, but we suspect a 2021 drop (we’ll keep you posted).
Images | diesel