Johnny Johansson is a co-founder and creative director of Swedish apparel company Acne. Johansson founded the company in 1996 as part of creative collective that had ambitions to produce something novel, with integrity, Acne is an acronym of Ambition to create novel expressions. The company began unconventionally, making 100 pairs of jeans, with distinctive red stitching, and gave them away to friends, family members and colleagues.
Johansson told Vogue.com/au “When we started we never said we wanted to be a streetwear brand or a ready-to-wear brand, we just said we wanted to do fashion. It was more like: ‘Okay, what’s the most important garment for people in the world today?’ because we wanted to be really current. So that’s why we started with jeans… but the thing for me has always been to be able to crisscross in between.”
He was originally a musician, “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.” Acne now has a €100 revenue, and 35 stores and counting and has completed collaborations with Albert Elbaz of Lanvin and Michael Zobel, a German jewellery designer.
Johansson has crafted one of the coolest brands, offbeat and achingly different, “it is not about delivering ideas or dreams, it’s about making them physical. And that’s a big challenge.” A big challenge Johansson invariably surmounts.