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In 2002, Maja and three colleagues founded the ACNE creative collective. ACNE stands for Ambition to Create Novel Expression, but Johansson has also expressed that he liked the idea of ‘appropriating a difficult word’ and making it cool. In 1997, the Acne Studios fashion line was born when Johansson created 100 pairs of raw denim jeans with red stitching and gave them away to friends and family.
Johansson has stated that the early inspiration for Acne Studios came from the Warhol Factory. Johansson is heavily influenced by art, design, literature and music and over the years he has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, photographers and designers such as Lanvin, Lord Snowdon and transsexual magazine Candy. His characteristic style is an emphasis on tailoring and the use of eclectic materials and custom fabrics.
- Wilson, Eric (October 14, 2009). "Stockholm Label Acne Wants to Be Known for More Than Jeans". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Swede Jonny Johansson of Acne on style and success - Vogue Australia
- Acne: 10 things you should know about the hot fashion brand | Fashion | The Guardian
- "Acne: A clear winner". The Independent. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Jonny Johansson Interview Magazine
- How Acne Studios Became a Fashion Powerhouse - WSJ