Do the words “hej”, “tack”, “ja” or “nej” mean anything to you? They may not, as they are Swedish words meaning “hello”, “thank you”, “yes” and “no”, respectively. How about the aesthetic collectively described as “Scandinavian minimalism”? Does this term open your artistic heart and motivate it to race uncontrollably? Well, if you answered “yes” to either of these questions – via quiet confirmation or yelling it from the nearest available rooftop – then you may want to familiarise yourself with ACNE Studios. No, it is not what you think. Rather, it is an acronym that forms the mission statement for a Stockholm-based fashion house – “Ambition to Create Novel Expression”. Best of all, in order to experience this cutting-edge wearable art, you need not travel all the way to Sweden. Simply cut your path to 1065 High Street, Armadale, and immerse yourself in this bastion of multidisciplinary ready-to-wear garments.

Beginning in 1996 on the humble backs of a mere 100 pairs of denim jeans, Acne Studios is the creative dream-come-true of Jonny Johansson. His interests include photography, art, architecture and contemporary culture, and he set out to provide an alternative path for those wishing to make their daily dressing a bit more interesting and personal. As such, Acne Studios is a well respected creator and purveyor of ready-to-wear fashion, books, magazines, furniture and exhibitions. Ideally, it caters for women, men and children. The essence of this Swedish fashion house is defined by Johansson’s signature juxtaposition design and unimaginable attention to detail, as well as his emphasis on tailoring and eclectic use of materials and custom-developed fabrics. For example, a line of garments has recently been released that is made with repurposed textiles – in this case, primarily excess leather and denim. This repurposing finds “positive and sustainable solutions through design”. This season spotlights red leather, over-dyed black denim and over-printed material. That which brings it together is a recurring zip motif.

Working with repurposed textiles finds “positive and sustainable solutions through design”.

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The Swedish word "Lagom" describes an in-between or neutral-mood state. According to Acne Studios' creative director, Jonny Johansson, this sums up the brand's "face" logo.

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Not surprisingly, a significant guiding force behind Acne Studios is what may be described as a “sustainability ambition”. The fashion house is imbued with the responsibility to create not only sought-after items, but items that are valued by its customers and enjoyed and utilised for a considerable amount of time. The cornerstone of this sustainability ambition is simple – pride in production. This pride dictates the aesthetic, quality and ultimately how the products are made and used. Specifically, Acne’s sustainability ambition is divided into three areas: products, suppliers and operations. Their products are designed to be of high quality, meant for long-term use and born from careful consideration for materials and techniques. Suppliers are held to the highest standards, requiring transparency and responsibility for the promotion of fair working conditions throughout the supply chain. Finally, operations-related sustainability focuses on being a responsible employer who considers the environmental and ethical impacts of its operations. Acne Studios provides an annual sustainability report which details its actions, targets and results in the aforementioned three areas. Furthermore, an annual BFC (brand performance check) is conducted by the Fair Wear Foundation, of which Acne has been a member since 2008, grading and evaluating its sustainability performance. Supporting Acne Studios equals supporting the ethical side of the fashion industry.

It is never too late – nor too early, really – to refresh, or even formally begin, a wardrobe. If your inner edginess can no longer be suppressed or if you wish to further grow that already-ingrained sense of fashion adventure, register online for Acne Studios’ By Appointment service. A knowledgeable and skillful team member will contact you and help guide you towards an individual style experience. It is probably worth mentioning, as well, that Acne Studios is the genuine article. It shows annually in Paris, Milan and New York – just in case there were any doubts as to its legitimacy in the fashion world. The rest of the journey is up to you. Go.

Lifestyle & Design

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