Expressive Pieces of Individuality by Acne Studios
"Everyone who thinks life in the fashion industry is tough think again."
Everyone who thinks life in the fashion industry is tough: think again. Especially when it comes to working with brands like Acne Studios. Every time we travel to Paris or Copenhagen to visit their showrooms we are amazed all over again by the exquisite taste that seems to pervade that company. We will never forget the first time that we entered their former Paris home at Rue St. Croix de la Bretonnerie. It felt like we were in heaven. We had never been in a room with so many beautiful people. Boys and girls, freshly dressed, welcomed us with the most extraordinary drinks and local cuisine, a playlist that would befit David Lynch’s Silence club and of course a showroom full of the greatest ready-to-wear available. There is no showroom in Paris that I would rather spend time in than the Acne Studios space at Espace Commines.
Acne Studios has become more than a brand and because we noticed that hardly anyone seems to know what they are really about, or more importantly: where they came from, we thought it was time to share some inside info on Europe’s most popular yet not that well known fashion house. Acne Studios is originally from Stockholm and became known because of an unusual, multi-disciplinary approach. Everything the brand does is influenced by contemporary art and culture to some extent. Acne Studios was founded in 1997, inspired by a global movement cross-breeding creative disciplines. Its concept was to create a working space where ideas flowed freely, with a strong DIY spirit. With the motto 'Ambition to Create Novel Expression', Acne developed into a dynamic creative collective working in fields of fashion, film and advertising, not hindered by their respective borders.
The first Acne Studios product was a 5-pocket denim that they launched in their very first year in business. This fledgling run consisted of 100 pairs in raw denim with red stitching and were distributed to friends, family and a handful of local clients. With denim as its backbone Acne Studios started building a full prêt-à-porter collection in 1998. Characterised by founder and Creative Director Jonny Johansson’s interest in photography, art, architecture and contemporary culture, Acne Studios found a distinctive kind of resonance with the world by doing things that were genuinely joyful and heartfelt. The result of choosing this unique path has turned Acne Studios into a well-respected multidisciplinary creator of prêt-à-porter, magazines, furniture, books and exhibitions.
Acne’s entire design process is directed by founder and Creative Director, Jonny Johansson. The brand offers men and women prêt-à-porter, footwear, accessories and contemporary denim. Typical of Jonny Johansson’s design is craftsmanship and attention to detail combined with an emphasis on tailoring and the use of an eclectic mix of materials and custom developed fabrics. Acne Studios is housed within a historic building at Lilla Nygatan 23, in the heart of Old Town in Stockholm. In addition to the Stockholm headquarters, Acne Studios is also represented by its local offices in Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo, London and New York City. We took a closer look at the brand’s Men’s collection in 2016 together with Mr. Jonny Johansson, Founder and Creative Director at Acne Studios.
“I have always loved the New York Dolls, and a friend of mine used to play with Johnny Thunders. I was inspired by the rawness of their unisex approach to dressing in 70s New York. I also had the honor of getting to surf in Sweden with Robin Kegel, whose surfboard art we have used to bring his attitude to the collection and an individual mood.”