Acne Studios’ Winning Formula For A Wardrobe That Lasts

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Acne Studios’ Winning Formula For A Wardrobe That Lasts

Words by Ms Francine Heath | Photography by Mr Sean Alexander Geraghty | Styling by Ms Sophie Watson

29 March 2021

There’s no doubt about it, Mr Johnny Johansson, creative director and co-founder of Acne Studios, has a winning formula when it creating clothes with lasting appeal. His brand’s collections always feel wonderfully familiar, a lot like that warm feeling you get while grabbing a drink with an old friend. However, thanks to a smattering of eclectic details, fresh prints and quirky fabrics, there are always just enough surprises to capture our attention each season.

The starting point of the Stockholm-based fashion house’s sustainability ambition is sound. It wants to be proud of the designs it’s putting out into the world, not just in terms of how they look, but how they’re made, how they fit and how they’re used. Acne Studios has also been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, which supports the label in monitoring and improving labour conditions at the factories where its clothes are made, since 2008. The organisation releases an annual Brand Performance Check, in which Acne Studios ranks in the top category as a “Leader”.

The aim is that each piece in a new collection can be worn often, will last and can co-exist with the items already hanging in your wardrobe. Here are 10 items from the latest drop that tick those boxes.

Acne Studios has collaborated with Swiss artist Mr Beni Bischof on a collection of cool, comfy basics such as this T-shirt. The prickly cacti graphic is from the Nici’s Bar installation he exhibited at Galerie Nicola von Senger in Zurich in 2019. It’s cut from pure cotton (no synthetic fibres are added to the blend), which makes it a doddle to wash using a gentle detergent.

This biker jacket is the definition of an investment piece. It will never go out of style and the buttery black leather, which already feels great, will start to soften the more you wear it. Not only is it a good casual all-rounder, once you’re back in the office, you can slip it over a shirt and tie and instantly feel a bit more “you” as you’re tapping out for the day.

Minimalist-maximalist Mr Johansson strikes again with this jazzy zebra-print number. Classic and neutral designs are the hard-working backbones of any wardrobe, but we think it’s no bad thing to have a few fun and expressive pieces in the mix, too. This shirt’s cool blue tones make it an easy match to navy trousers or your favourite dark jeans.

Glastonbury may be officially cancelled, but we’re still holding out hope that a festival wristband will play a part in our accessories game this year. Call us optimists, but we envisage the sun will be shining, we’ll be wearing these denim shorts and our feet will be muddy. Bliss.

This one is for long-time fans of the brand or anyone with a hankering for all things 1990s. A little background on the logo embroidery: Acne Studios was founded in 1996 as part of the creative collective ACNE, which focused on graphic design, advertising and film production. A year later, Mr Johansson made 100 pairs of jeans and gave them away to friends and family. The rest, as they say, is history.

If we were to conduct a random survey asking men which colours they like to wear the most, camel – unlike black, navy or grey – probably wouldn’t be a common response. We want to change that. Overcoats aside, camel is an overlooked everyday neutral that goes with pretty much anything. This corduroy overshirt also presents the perfect opportunity to dabble with a few 1970s-inspired details.

So far, so casual, but let’s not forget that modern tailoring is one of Acne Studios’ fortes. These pinstriped trousers are made from a wool blend that won’t crease easily, so you’ll still look smart for that 5.00pm meeting, and they’re lined with cotton for comfort and breathability. You’ll also get away with wearing them with a plain T-shirt and loafers.

Still a little logo shy? The trend shows little sign of waning and some brands have taken it to extremes with flashy fonts. Hardly the easiest way to dip your toe in. This baseball cap takes a subtler approach and is neatly stamped with a tonal, understated lettering.

Just like the aforementioned sweatshirt, these jeans nod to the year it all began. They’re heavily distressed and faded for a vintage look, but they fit so much better than any pair you might come across while thrifting. The rigid cotton-denim is washed for that covetable worn-in look.

Tailoring that’s also kind of fun? Where do we sign up? These relaxed trousers are part of the brand’s Face collection and feature the widely recognised motif on an aged patch at the back. Ditch anything formal and wear them with one of the brand’s organic cotton hoodies instead.