Diesel's Pride ad tells surprising story of faith and transgender rights

Film by Publicis Italy follows Francesca, a young woman who learns to embrace her true identity.

Diesel has released a film for Pride month that follows one woman’s transition and her pursuit of an unexpected dream. 

Created by Publicis Italy, the ad tells the story of Francesca, who was assigned male at birth. It traces her transition through time as she comes to embrace her true identity and be recognised as a woman. 

However, it gradually becomes clear that, as well as transgender rights, the narrative is about faith and reconciling religious beliefs with gender identity. A Christian cross motif appears throughout the spot. The final scenes reveal Francesca’s other dream – to become a nun – and she swaps her Diesel jeans for a habit when she enters a nunnery. 

The work was written by Silvia Serreli, art directed by Mattia Mingardo and directed by François Rousselet through Division. Model and activist Harlow Monroe plays Francesca. 

"Francesca" marks the launch of Diesel’s 2020 capsule collection dedicated to Pride. The brand consulted Diversity, an Italian association that promotes social inclusion, to create the campaign. 

As part of its celebrations this month, Diesel will partner Club Quarantine, an online nightclub for queer communities, to host a 24-hour global digital party on Zoom in late June. It will also set up a fund with OTB Foundation to support international projects focused on gender identity and integration in the job market. 

Diesel has a history of creating ad campaigns with a progressive bent. It introduced its "For successful living" tagline celebrating individuality in the 1990s and reprised the theme for 2017’s "Go with the flaw", which championed flawed beauty. 

In 2018, the brand challenged online abuse with a campaign and fashion collection in which celebrities wore the worst insults they had ever received.

Diesel founder Renzo Rosso said: "I am very proud of ‘Francesca’ and of the Diesel values that inspired this story. When we created ‘For successful living’ many years ago, our thought was the same then as it is today. Individuality, pride and the power to live as one wants is the ultimate success in life."