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Acne Studios is part of the creative collective Acne (Ambition to Create Novel Expression) which was founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1996. In 1997 co-founder Jonny Johansson created one hundred pairs of jeans in raw denim with red stitching and gave them away to friends and family in Stockholm. This became the foundation of the clothing branch of Acne, now known as Acne Studios. Acne Studios designs, markets, and distributes fashion apparel and jeans worldwide.
Acne is a group of companies consisting of Acne Advertising (advertising), Acne Art Department (design), Acne Digital (web), Acne Film (TV, advertising, film) and the own brand Acne (fashion), Acne Paper (magazine) and Acne JR (toys).
Acne was founded in 1996 in Stockholm Sweden by Jonny Johansson, even today the headquarter is situated in Stockholm. Johansson wanted to create an all-including lifestyle brand. As Acne describes themselves their collections are “defined by Jonny Johansson’s signature juxtaposing design and attention to detail, with an emphasis on tailoring and an eclectic use of materials and custom developed fabrics”.
The first actual clothes were made by Johansson himself in 1997. He made 100 pairs of raw denim jeans with red stitching and gave them away to friends. Since then Acne has grown rapidly and is today a major design brand with stores in e.g. New York and Tokyo.
Acne Group is a business concern that consists beside of their fashion/clothing brand “Acne”, their magazine “Acne Paper” and their toy collection “Acne JR” of Acne Advertising, Acne Art Design, Acne Film and Acne Digital. These groups are involved in fashion and design, advertising, commercial film- and web production, feature films, TV-formats, online games, toys and mobile phone apps.
Acne Studios (or perhaps what is more commonly known simply as “Acne”) is the clothing brand of the Acne Family Group. They make, beside clothes for both men and women, also accessories and footwear. They are probably most known for their jeans which also started the whole Acne brand. Acne Studios products can be seen as a mixture or bridge between ready-to-wear clothes (Prêt-à-Porter), youth culture and contemporary art. Their philosophy throughout their design process is to create a “framework for individuality” which is achieved by making clothes that are functional, simple and flexible when it comes to fitting into the consumers existing wardrobe.
At this moment (18.11.2013) Acne Studios webshop includes the following product categories for women: coats and jackets, shoes, jeans, dresses, knitwear, tops, blouses, sweatshirts, suit jackets, trousers, skirts, accessories, bags, small leather goods (wallets and purses), underwear, miniature collection (kids clothes), gift cards (ranges between 25€ and 1000€), Snowdon Blue (signed photographs by photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones), Wegman (limited picture prints by William Wegman) and Rodeo collection (book). In the male department there are the following categories (of which some are the same as in the female department): outerwear, jeans, shirts, T-shirts, knitwear, sweatshirts, suit jackets, trousers, shoes, accessories, small leather goods, miniature collection, gift cards, Snowdon Blue, Wegman, Rodeo collection.
According to Acne Studios environmental strategy the company wants to produce wares that are high quality and that has long life. Ther goal in 2012 was to increase the amount of environmentally preferable materials and adds that their goal for 2014 is that 20 percent of all fabrics used in their “never-out-of-stock” products should be made of organic cotton or some similar environmentally stabile material.
Acne Studios does not advertise or market itself through traditional and/or visual fashion campaigns or communication channels. Instead, the label markets itself through its publishing arm, a biannual magazine called Acne Paper. Acne Paper covers the disciplines of art, fashion, photography, design, architecture, academia, and culture. Each issue is based around a theme that is interpreted by selected contributors from their field of expertise. Contributors to Acne Paper have included Carine Roitfeld, Noam Chomsky, David Lynch, Lord Snowdon, Azzedine Alaïa, Mario Testino, Sarah Moon, Tilda Swinton, and Paolo Roversi.
Acne’s stores are known as studios as they aim to recreate the atmosphere of a working creative space. There are 21 monobrand Acne Studios stores in eight countries, e.g., Stockholm, Gothenburg, Paris, London, New York, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Oslo. Acne Studio’s Stockholm flagship store on Norrmalmstorg is the location where the paradoxical psychological phenomenon Stockholm Syndrome was coined in 1973 as hostages in a bank robbery turned empathetic to the robbers.
Acne Studios plan and design collections for both men and women. Acne Studios main collection focuses on four seasons each year – resort, spring, pre-fall and fall.
They also have a men's collection which is only focused on two seasons – spring and fall. Acne Studios collections have their foundation in Jonny Johanssons design. This signature design focuses on details, tailoring, eclectic use of materials and custom developed materials. Acne Studios collections cover ready-to-wear clothes which means that they made in small quantities which leads to a higher price. They are in other words not produced for a specific customer but not either made for a mass market.
Acne Studios have collaborated widely with representatives from the creative industries. In 2008 they collaborated with the world’s oldest bike manufacturer, Bianchi Bicycles, to produce a bespoke fixed-gear racer bike in custom colours. Also in 2008, Acne collaborated on a denim-based capsule collection with the couture house Lanvin as well as a pair of "gentleman’s jeans" with magazine Fantastic Man. To accompany the fashion collections, Acne has collaborated with jewelers Mikael Zobel and Husam El-Odeh. In 2010 Acne commissioned artist Katerina Jebb to create a video incorporating a Swarovski solitaire crystal. In September 2010, Acne launched a furniture line of sofas based on Swedish furniture designer’s Carl Malmsten’s sofa Nya Berlin. In 2011 Acne collaborated with transsexual magazine Candy on a cross-gender collection of six blouses.