The empirical data has been collected from three different angle : the brand, the store, the visitor. The brand vision is seen as an aim to achieve by the designer, the store as a referential point to the analysis, and the visitor as the sensitive part of the experience. I choose online articles and public statement from the main designer of the brand to describe their intentions. Then, I visited the store a second time, on my own, in order to factually and more objectively describe it.
Last, I used part of my memory and my second visit – several months after the first one – to give you my very personal sensitive impressions.
Jonny Johansson and three other friends started the creative collective-and future lifestyle label-in Stockholm in 1996 with the specific intention to combine art and culture into one bigger statement. His interest for photography, art an architecture seems to have had an important influence on their branding evolution. From ACNE as an acronym for « Associated Computer Nerd Enterprises » to finally the « Ambition to Create Novel Expressions », the brand has been producing a lot of different content within the advertising, film and fashion industry.
As a matter of fact, « Acne paper » was a bi-annually published magazine that focuses its issues on different cultural and controversial problematics. They chose to stand out with a refreshing approach on fashion magazines, and business in general. The Studios likes to marge the past with present by using a very strong editorial lign:
“Acne paper’s signature has always been to bridge the past and the present by working around a timeless subject, to make it our own” – Thomas Persson, Editor in chief
Their campaign esthetic is minimal, clean but modern.
Some eclectic choice of textures combinations like polyester, linoleum or stainless steel are part of their most recent spatial identity. This focus on material is an extension of their custom-developed fabric fashion collection. Johansson and Bozarth Fornell – Acne Studios main architect – puts a strong emphasis on juxtaposed design and attention to detail. Each stores up until 2015 seems to adapt itself to the location and covers a different side of the brand. A common spatial display has been developed after that moment. Finally, the brand analysis realized by BODHI BRANDING DEVELOPMENT in 2017 mentions Johnny Johnson as someone who likes to think outside the box.
“I wanted this pink paper because people considered pink being ugly” – Johnny Johnson (GQ Style, 2016)
Their light pink packaging has now become highly recognizable among consumers. The report finally comments Acnes brand expectation of communicating values such as high fashion, individuality and innovative style. However, It has been evidenced through findings from a questionnaire study of 130 students at Stockholm University that even tough the image of the brand represented high fashion. Their image did not include the aspect of individuality or innovativeness.
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