Monday, 14 July 2008

Acne on the rise

Whenever I have a spare few minutes in Central London (which is frequently, normally because Susie is late) I love wandering into Borders to finger the latest magazines and even discover new magazines. As a student I would pore over the magazines for quite some time, take them up to Starbucks and read page after page over an Americano (in a ridiculously large bucket which should not be described as a cup) getting my aesthetic, glossy fix before leaving a pile of them used and abused on the pine of a starbucks chair. These days I actually buy them (most of the time). Recently, the London weather took a turn for the worse and as the rain lashed down I ran into seek shelter within the aisles of books and magazines and I discovered HE magazine - I've since been told that it positions itself in a unique market for heterosexual men - I care very little of this but did enjoy the no nonsense and down to earth format of the pages. Although published from Copenhagen the magazine has a distinctly US meets Stockholm feel, the likes of Opening Ceremony, Adam Kimmel and Acne represented extensively. It is the latter which I want to concentrate on here.

The recent S/S 09 collection saw Johannsen take a modern interpretation of America’s bad boy culture of the 1950s and I loved it.

Acne's been all the rage what with their collaboration with Lanvin, their general status as everyone’s favorite jean company and their awesome Spring/Summer 09 show getting good reviews. Over the past week alone I have been confronted with various forms of Acne (not the pizza faced teens kind..anyway, we rarely call it acne, they are just spots to us Brits) countless times and rather than be turned off them (which is normally the case with) I'm intrigued and in awe it all. Within the interview Johansson tells us that at first the name was acronym, standing for Ambition to Create Novel Expression but ultimately it evolved from a desire to have a creative collective, out of an idea of mixing different disciplines and most importantly making products for themselves.

The interview with Jonny Johannson illustrates the creative dynamic of the brand extremely well.

There is much more to the Acne brand than just red stitched jeans (for which the brand became known), it is in reality a diverse creative collective (I so, want my own...Thom Wong come join us...everyone please let me know if you want to join my collective) which has given rise to Acne Paper.

The plan for the Acne Paper was to bring out a publication that weaved together people, imagery, history, newness, and the pleasures of inter-generational exchange and learning. For an interesting insight into the mind of the editor-in-chief - Thomas Perrson read his blog entry for The Moment. The element of the paper that interests me the most is an idea of research, showing the brands inspiration to the outside world and this has ordinarily been kept very private. All in all there is a great deal of inspiration to be taken from the brand, Acne have certainly come a long way from 'just jeans' and offer so much more.


thebrokengentleman. said...

Great write-up. I recently read Acne paper for the first time and I loved the complete lack of focus on Acne.

I wish more brand extensions were about expanding the philosophy of the brand, not just run-downs of what they'd be selling next season.

Love the blog. Thanks.

TheSundayBest said...

Local store stocks Acne Papers you can take for free...and so I have. An amazing magazine for what it is.

And as I said in my email - you start it, I will join. Our first mission - fill the startling gap in the men's accessories market for mid-priced goods.

j said...

Yes, nice writeup.

So what exactly are the "pleasures of inter-generational exchange and learning"? I mean, I agree, people should have friends in all age groups, but what exactly does this mean in this context?

Stylesalvage Steve said...

I'm glad that you all like the post. What i like about Acne is they have challenged the notions of what it means to be a successful brand.
Thomas - A wonderful idea. I will start working on this straight away.
J - In this contect pleasures of inter-generational exchange and learning (granted this is a little wanky) describes how the Acne brand evolves and expands on it's key concepts (as expressed within the Acne paper) by taking inspiration from a number of disciplines and generations (both past and present). Does that make sense?

Mat Ahoy said...

me and my girlfriend stumbled across HE magazine in orlando,(of all places) and were attracted by the bold colouring. i never actually bought it but i think i may have to check it out again, from the recommendation.


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