Indie fashion has ACNE!

Opening doors to indie fashion

ACNE is a collective that understands
indie fashion.

ACNE is a Stockholm-based collective comprised of ACNE, ACNE Production, ACNE Advertising, ACNE Paper, and ACNE Jr.

Though it may not come across immediately, ACNE is actually an acronym for Ambition to Create Novel Expressions.

Jonny Johansson along with three other creative minds founded ACNE in 1996, forming a collective towards the pursuit of establishing a successful lifestyle brand.

ACNE is regarded as an influential creative collective across the multiple industries it permeates.

I believe ACNE’s message is all about the creative process, humanity and the individual.

Thus, representing true indie fashion.


Backstage ACNE Women’s Spring/Summer ’12 resort presentation New York

ACNE caters to true indie fashion.

true indie fashion basics

true indie fashion basics (credit: Idhren via Flickr)

The collective’s initial success was attributed to a line of 100 pairs of unisex red-stitch skinny jeans designed by Johansson in 1997, solely intended for friends and family.

Popularity arose as a result of the denim line’s rarity, and soon after the jeans rose to the top of each fashion editor’s must have list — resulting in the popularity of skinny jeans.

The following year, ACNE followed up its success with the release of its first complete ready-to-wear fashion line.

That very fashion line’s success translated into ACNE’s success and receiving an award for “Designer of the Year” by Swedish Elle magazine in 2000.

In 2003, ACNE opened its first studio in Stockholm.

Creative director Jonny Johansson envisioned a studio concept for ACNE’s retail stores rather than a door, clothing racks, and a register.

Indie fashion finds a home in ACNE.

Jonny Johansson maintains his true creative vision despite the pressures of conforming to the same tactics used by uninspired fashion lines.

When I was in London a year ago I met an American guy who was recently bankrupt. He didn’t have any money so I took him for a drink and bought him some food.

He was a vintage collector and a writer, but he is a musician, too, and he told me that even though his business is on its knees, he has never felt so creative.

I think that’s inspiring. For me fashion had become too narrow. Everything had to be so fucking luxurious, and the whole creative and expressive part disappeared. (Jonny Johansson via Hint Magazine)

ACNE once fell into the mistake of trying to expand too fast.

Following bad advice, Johansson created a large collection leaving the company overstocked and almost bankrupt.

Then, a close friend to the company offered work to the ACNE founders as directors in their film production company (in exchange for ACNE shares).

This lead to the creation of ACNE Production, where employees have worked with the likes of Ridley Scott, according to The Independent.

Yet, all of those tough experiences endured by ACNE resulted in long-term success.


Disregard your current notion of indie fashion.

Going inside indie fashion

(credit: HerryLawford via Flickr)

The message this collective sends to its subscribers is simple: do you. Nothing else is more original than the individual.

Johansson’s functional collections aim to represent the individual.

To further their goal of being a successful lifestyle brand, the ACNE collective transcends all borders and brings together different people and experiences.

The collective lives vicariously through all its patrons.

Various collaborations have given ACNE the opportunity to spread its following within numerous creative communities.

In 2005, after winning yet another award from Swedish Elle for “Denim Designer of the Year,” the collective released its treasured ACNE Paper — a combined effort between Jonny Johansson and the magazine’s editor Thomas Persson.

ACNE Paper is a bi-annual fashion editorial featuring various artistic contemporaries that inspire the collective.

There are no advertisements included; not even for the brand itself. The editorial serves as a beacon to subscribers of true indie fashion.

ACNE has also collaborated with Parisian fashion house Lanvin for a limited-edition denim line.

Then came an ACNE custom bicycle by renowned bicycle maker Bianchi.

Jewelry collaborations with jewelers Mikael Zobel and Husam El-Odeh followed suit. And let’s not forget about the furniture line based off of  Carl Malmsten’s designs.

ACNE’s ever-growing grasp within the fashion industry has not stopped.

Finding new ways to re-invent and rejuvenate the brand as well as creating more markets to appeal to the masses are among ACNE’s foremost goals.


Acne | Womenswear Spring/Summer ’12 from Acne Studios

Acne | Menswear Spring/Summer ’12 from Acne Studios

Indie fashion is well-represented with collectives like ACNE, who embody true individual expression.

ACNE indie fashion featured photo credit: karlnorling via Flickr

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