In a recent Vogue interview, Jonny Johansson of Acne discusses his untraditional path into fashion and what makes Acne so unique and special. Take a look at some highlights.
How does a collection come together?
I didn’t have a traditional fashion education, so for me it’s been learning, and trial and error. I like current and honest fashion. Working with my life, things that are very close to me at that moment, makes it current for me. That’s why this time [for spring/summer ’12] the source was the family trip I did to Marrakech … I didn’t think I was being inspired, but the colour and the multicultural aspect elevated me into this idea of a young Swedish girl and how she would interpret such a worked-on subject if she were to go there. We didn’t want to do tile prints or only caftans. The caftan is obviously there but we worked this sort of Arab reference within the sports-biker world. It became an interesting mix.
Has the fact that you have no formal training in fashion been a hindrance or a help?
You know, I’ve always been waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and say: ‘Hey, it’s time out, it’s over.’ My mother wanted me to go to art school because she saw that I had some sort of creativity. I didn’t, because I was pursuing music, which was important in my family, on my father’s side. But in the end it was about creating, about being able to have an outlet. It doesn’t really matter for me if it’s music, clothing or pictures, it’s about the process. It’s like when we have collaborations; it’s the experience that is interesting, usually much more interesting and more important than the result, to be honest.
So how does your creative mind cross from one thing to another?
The biggest worry is when I have to go to the next meeting, or when I have to break up in the middle of something that’s going on. I don’t like to disappoint people, because sometimes I leave them with half a piece, and that bugs me. But we try to focus and be more precise, smaller rather than growing in different directions. It’s not like we want to do new business. For example, furniture; this is more a thing for me when I have time.
To what do you attribute Acne’s success?
I think people have seen we’re developing the brand, that it’s under construction but it’s going the right way. And I think that there’s something with imperfection that is very humbling. Even though we’ve grown bigger, we would like to stay that way.
Where to next?
I’m starting to know myself, my creativity. And, also, the people I work with, my colleagues, are starting to understand what we’re doing and being part of this journey. That’s why I feel that this [spring] show was just a start in the hope that we can do something interesting for next season, and that this can be a springboard for that.