Tragic Chic

| September 8, 2003

Looking for the hottest fall fashions? No need to pick up the latest issue of W -- just check out your local newspaper. Tragic tales of migrant workers dying for opportunity in America aren't just for headlines anymore. According to Kimi Eisele's recent Pacific News Service commentary, they're part of Diesel's autumn ad campaign. Earlier this summer, as hundreds of migrant workers were found dead in the Southwest, Diesel's Manhattan flagship store featured mannequins with shovels and pickaxes to promote its fall line of uniform-inspired garments. For those who might have missed the subtlety of this campaign, the word 'Trabajadores' (Spanish for 'workers') appeared in the store window. 'Personally, I think it's about Communism,' one Diesel sales rep whispered to Eisele when she inquired about the display. 'The shovels, the drab colors, the similar styles for men and women. [It's] like they're celebrating the worker.'

'If we really want to celebrate the trabajadores, we'll have to do a lot more than dress like them,' Eisele writes. When it comes to those marketing mavens at Diesel -- whose only known suffering is the pain of being tragically hip -- we'll just have to settle for imitation as the sincerest form of flattery.
-- Erin Ferdinand

Go there>> Hip or Hurtful? Diesel's New Line Pretends We're All Equal