It’s easy to read Planet Diesel as an avatar of the globalisation of fashion culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Diesel’s company strategies, and particularly its knowing, ironic advertising, seem to be the highest stage of global branding. Unlike the sartorial imperialism of American brands such as Gap, Nike or Levi’s, Diesel strives to appear not as an aggressive multinational corporation, but as the first transnational clothing supplier, producing global styles for a global market. But like most supposedly global phenomena, the geography of Diesel is particular, partial and complex. Most obviously, Diesel is firmly rooted in what has been referred to as the ‘Third Italy’ (see Belussi 1991), operating within a regional production complex of flexible specialisation. Diesel also operates within a regional design and marketing culture (with Fiorucci and Benetton as the most obvious precursors) which has appropriated the stylistic conventions of mid-century

American workwear, and transformed them into relatively cheap designer clothing associated with a strong and distinctive brand image (Braham 1997: 158).