Designer 411: Acne

Friday, September 7, 2012

This past April I was in search of a dress for an event I was managing. I needed a dress that was appropriate for working an event, not attending an event (very different outfit needs - will elaborate in a later post) and came across the perfect dress online at Saks during the “Friends and Family Sale”.  In addition to the sale price (around $200), it was the spring color must have, Seafoam Green!

I don't pay attention to brand or designer when shopping on a mission, instead I lead with what looks good, meets my needs, check the price and then designer for fit. But I was surprised to not know the brand of the dress, Acne. It sounded like a strange name for a fashion line but it did catch my attention. When asked, “who made the dress”, people seemed to want to correct my response with, “oh you must mean Akris” which I kindly replied no Acne. Akris and Acne is quite a bit of difference in price but flattered at the same time to think that I was able to afford an Akris dress. Even after a long 14-hour event day, I loved wearing this comfortable dress and now very much intrigued to learn more about this brand and the designer behind it.

ACNE acronym for “Ambition to Create Novel Expression”

                                        Source: via Rozlind on Pinterest

Jonny Johansson, self-taught designer, founded Acne in Stockholm, Sweden in 1996*. The clothing brand begun with its top-selling classic Swedish jeans but Johanson did not stop there. The brand was birthed with his dream of mixing advertising, art, music and fashion in to the creative collective known as Acne Studios**.
                                Source: via Rozlind on Pinterest

When I read about his creative collective I immediately thought of Andy Warhol, who is my first choice in response to the question, “who would you want to have dinner with dead or alive”. I would LOVE to go back in time and be at the Silver Factory amongst the explosion of creative thought, art, design, and fabulousness. As I continued to read about Johansson and Acne, I found that I was right on track with thinking that his dream mimicked the Silver Factory, as his Icon is Andy Warhol**!

Acne Studios (or Acne Group) is made up of …

 ACNE Production

An award winning full service production house based in Stockholm with offices in LA and Berlin. Working in Commercial, Film, TV and Digital Production.

ACNE Advertising

An independent advertising agency, originally known as Acne Creative. Acne Creative growth lead to a split in 2008, creating two separate companies; Acne Advertising and Acne Art Department.

ACNE Paper

In 2004,  Johanson teamed up with Thomas Perrson (Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director) to create Acne Paper.    The magazine has received a cult like following similar to Andy Warhol’s Interview*** Acne Paper is published twice a year and combines all aspects of the Acne mission into one magazine for all. “In an eclectic yet coherent mix of portrait, fashion and art photography as well as interviews, memoirs and prose the editorial narrative aims to unite artistic minds of all generations.” ****

In 2009 Acne received its big break when Johansson collaborated with Alber Elbaz, Creative Director of Lanvin, for “couture-like blue jean pieces” **

Learning about Acne, made me feel like I feel down the rabbit hole (pushing myself of course) and found a magical company whose ideals match my fairytale dream of having dinner with Andy Warhol and hanging out creating anything and everything at the factory. I guess now you know where to find me if I disappear, just look for me in Sweden at ACNE Studios!

Style Notes:

Runway shows and Installations in New York, London, Paris and Stockholm (men and women).

Skinny jeans and jeans of all kinds, signature leather bomber jackets, clunky boots, modern and casual.

Acne Style

Where to Buy:,, Net-A-Porter, and

Information for this blog entry was gathered from...

*About History Page Acne Studios. 2012 Acne Studios. Retrieved August 23, 2012 from

**Bjerregaard, Frederik. (2011, July 20). Success Stories - Acne. Vogue Italia. Retrieved August 21, 2012 from

*** Wilson, Eric. (2009, October 14). "Stockholm Label Acne Wants to Be Known for More Than Jeans." 2009 The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 21, 2012 from

**** Acne Paper About Page. 2012 Acne Paper. Retrieved August 23, 2012 from