How Ella Snyder Became the Ultimate Diesel Muse

How Ella Snyder Became the Ultimate Diesel Muse

Last year, the first glimpse of Diesel's new era under Glenn Martens began with the opening look of its Spring 2022 collection: a white t-shirt and twisted vest with a pair of jean-boots.

The model who wore that all-important look was Ella Snyder, the LA-based 23-year-old who's become something of a muse and representation of the new-and-improved Diesel. (Interestingly, the first look of Bottega Veneta under Matthieu Blazy was also a white top/denim pant situation.)

With her candy red hair (she has it dyed on and off) and inimitable cool factor, Snyder remains a favorite of Martens in his vision for Diesel, one that leans cooler, younger and sexier — filtered through the conceptual lens that made him a star at Y/Project. She's since starred in several campaigns for the brand, including its Library line and new fragrance.

It's no coincidence then that it was her entrusted to wear some of the most key pieces of each collection on the Milan runway, including last month's standout finale look — a cropped denim jacket with a dramatic red fringe logo skirt. In February, she was one just four Diesel models covered in glitter body paint (her all-red body paint look in particular quickly went viral).

Below, Snyder discusses being a Diesel muse, her relationship with Martens and getting to wear that epic Diesel skirt.

Glenn Martens is clearly a big fan of yours. What's it like to work with him?

I truly believe Glenn is the most talented person I’ve ever met. I’m still in disbelief that he not only knows who I am, but I get to work with him. I genuinely don’t know when the man has time to sleep; between Diesel, Y-Project, his ongoing endeavors outside of the two brands, he always seems to have his head screwed on straight and he always greets me with a smile.

What do you two talk about?

At the wrap party for the perfume campaign shoot, I remember Glenn pulling me aside at this waterfront South African estate to ask me how I was; he genuinely wanted to know if I was happy. We ended up having a heartfelt one-on-one for about 20 minutes that felt like Glenn’s Guide to True Happiness where he gave me sage life advice on friends, time management, romance and working in fashion. (Three friends is more than enough, always be early, to be on time is to be late… things like that.) Since that conversation, I stopped looking at Glenn as this untouchable celebrity genius figure (which he is,) but now I see him as a peer and role model.

How did they first discover you?

I started working with them last summer after getting a call from casting director Rachel Chandler asking if I’d like to spend June in Milan working with Diesel. Of course I said yes but I had zero clue what I was saying yes to. A couple days before I arrived in Milan, Rachel called me again and asked if I’d be open to dying my hair red for the project, I was hesitant but I also crave change and decided to look at the decision like Tyra Banks giving me a makeover on America’s Next Top Model. My first full day in Milan I was taken to the salon, underwent the transformation, and when Glenn saw me he exclaimed “You are the face of Diesel!” This was all while we filmed a four day video project for his Spring 2022 collection shot by Frank LeBon, in which I wore the opening look and portrayed the film’s protagonist.

And how has that relationship evolved since?

It grew rapidly. I think my next trip with them was to Miami to shoot the denim Library campaign with Toni Braxton and Aron Piper. Not even two weeks later, I was flying from Los Angeles to South Africa to shoot the D by Diesel perfume campaign, and a month after that, back in Milan, being painted fully red to walk in their Fall 2022 show. Six months later and I’m doing the same exact thing but no longer red. They’ve become a fashion family to me.

You closed the most recent Diesel show in that epic red fringed skirt. What was that like?

I arrived in Milan the day before the show and went straight from the airport to my fitting. When I arrived, I had no idea I’d be wearing the look I ended up walking in, nor did I know that I’d close the show! I saw Glenn and Ursina [Diesel stylist] and gave them big hugs and they asked to see me in look 71, which ended up being the denim jacket and big logo skirt. When I went back to try it on, I was informed the skirt hadn’t actually been made yet! So I was brought up from the casting floor to Diesel’s atelier where I had my measurements taken, and the seamstresses began sewing blankets onto my body and the skirt began to take form.

When I arrived at Allianz Cloud Arena for the show the next day, the skirt was still being made! I didn’t see it until about 20 minutes before the show started. All the designers were in a quiet back room under the arena, and I’d say there were about 10-15 of them, trimming, shaving, sewing and adjusting the skirt on a mannequin. Finally, post-show rehearsals, I got to try it on again. No one knew what to expect, especially me! They continued sewing and trimming it on my body, trying to guesstimate what parts of fabric might end up under my feet causing me to trip on the runway. We did a few practice laps around the tiny room and it was time to join the lineup and walk out onto the runway. I don’t think anyone really knew how the skirt would hold up on a moving body but luckily everything was a success!

Photos courtesy of Diesel


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Story by Andrew Nguyen / Photography by Diego Villagra Motta / Styling by Angelina Cantú