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Photography by Mr Joel Rhodin

For someone with no formal fashion training, Mr Johansson, 41, has certainly made an impact on the world of style. What started in 1996 as a niche design collective with four friends and a concise offer of skinny jeans has now blossomed into a full-blown global fashion house (with a name that stands for their design manifesto: "Ambition to Create Novel Expressions"). Here, the man at the creative helm shows us some of the talking points in his bustling work space.

Tell us about the location of your office.
It's in an old bank. We've been here for quite a while although we nearly didn't get the lease because we were competing with the Swedish priest organisation here in Stockholm. Luckily they gave it to us as somebody on our board knew the person that owned the building.
Tell us why you have your office this way.
My office is particularly crowded at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I like a white space with clean lines and a clean table to start working but some of these things I just need to have around me. I don't even know why.
What takes up the most room in your office?
I keep lots of photos from the shoots we do here at Acne and I keep a lot of books for references. When you have really good things around

the inspiration


you, sometimes it makes you shape up. It makes me see what good people do. I surround myself with good people, people who are much better than me, for the same reason. It's one of my tricks.
You don't have a computer?
No I don't. I love not having a big computer on my desk. It makes the space much more personal. I used to draw on a computer but I don't anymore. It's just easier to do it by hand or in the fitting room. I have an iPad instead. I love it. It's almost like a magazine - clean and simple. The format is a bit more fashionable.
Why did you get into designing clothes?
It never bores me. I'm always really excited about what I do. It feels like when you start a new collection you think you want to change the world, but then in the end there's just the product, so it's kind of a disappointment in some ways. But fashion, like music, has to have a feeling to it. If it doesn't then why bother? I look for those things that make me feel something.
Why did you start Acne?
Some friends of mine, creative people I respect, were starting something and basically I just wanted to be a part of it. I was just

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happy to have something new to do. It's been quite a journey. My schedule is pretty crazy these days.
You have been based in Stockholm for some time. Can you tell us some good places to visit?
I'm very local, so I tend to go to the same places. I'm a bit of an idiot like that. One coffee shop I go to is owned by a friend of mine - it's called Il Caffé. There are a lot of really interesting, friendly people there so it's a good place to start the morning. For a night out I'd go to the south part of Stockholm (Södermalm), it's the most cultural, experimental area. My favourite place there is Kvarnen - it's a restaurant and bar full of interesting fashion people and students. If you want to go more fancy head downtown to Teatergrillen.
What five items of clothing do you think every man should own?
A white T-shirt, a pair of worn black jeans, a white shirt and a pair of expensive black leather shoes (preferably English ones). I also think you should own something very feminine, like a piece of jewellery or something from your mother's wardrobe. That's how I dress.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


Watch our film of two tap-dance maestros, clad head-to-toe in Acne, hotfooting their way around the streets of Stockholm

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