10 Questions with Max Svärdh As He Reveals Axel Arigato’s Debut Sunglasses Line
If you were an A-list celeb, how would you deal with the paparazzi? Would you love or loath the attention? Here at 10, we’d obviously be all over the paps – full-on Paris, Britney and Lindsey style. The only thing we’d happily skip on is the camera flashes. One way we could combat this is investing in a decent pair of sunnies, completely blacked out of course (gotta conceal last night’s hangover). Luckily the boys at Axel Arigato have got our backs. Co-founders Albin Johansson and Max Svärdh have recently launched their very first sunglasses line featuring three statement frames. There’s the Arena shape, which looks as if it was pulled straight out of the 1990s, the tortoiseshell Alton D-frame and the Jet; a sleek, transparent edition that’s stamped with “Arigato” on the arms. This dynamic trio is pulled from the brand’s AW20 collection, which also features a cracking range of sneakers, including the Catfish skate shoe and nostalgic running trainer; the Marathon R-Trail.
The campaign for the collection takes its inspiration from celebs being papped whilst eating. What would Svärdh want to be caught chowing down on? “A burger! Or Nachos,” he says. Whilst we think about stopping at McDonald’s on our way home, we asked the designer a few pap-tastic questions about the collection. Cameras at the ready!
1. What makes the perfect pair of sunglasses?
“The perfect pair of sunglasses are the ones you want to wear year-round even when there’s no sun out.”
2. The Arena shape is inspired by the 1990s, why are you particularly drawn to that fashion era?
“It’s the era I grew up in and is today still a great source of inspiration. I enjoy going back to my childhood images and wish I would have saved my first pair of Etnies. It gets very nostalgic.”
3. Why is now the perfect time to release your first range of sunglasses?
“We want our customers to be able to walk into one of our stores and be able to curate an Axel Arigato look from head to toe. Sunglasses felt right to launch this summer as we’d been working on the idea for quite some time, it’s a thrill to add another product category for the brand.”
4. If you where an A-list celeb, how would you throw the paparazzi off your scent?
“Hire a body double and call the paparazzi on him so I could go about my day normally.”
5. Who are the king and queen of paparazzi?
“My team says Bella Hadid and A$ap Rocky. I don’t really know.”
6. If you could have anyone wear the Alton frames, who would it be and why?
“Young Spike Lee. He’s a purposeful collector of eyewear, a true connoisseur.”
7. Early mornings or late nights?
“Late nights, I thrive after 11pm.”
8. The collection also features the Catfish Sneaker, inspired by skate shoes of the 1990s/early 2000s – can you do any tricks on the board?
“I can do an ollie but it ends there. In my younger days I did a lot of aggressive inline skating.”
9. The Marathon R-Trail takes its cues from classic marathon trainers – what’s been your lockdown workout routine?
“To be honest I haven’t been working out a lot. I’ve mostly been walking around in my Marathons R-trails.”
10. The collection is coming out just as lockdown restrictions are being lifted here in the UK, where should people wear their new Axel Arigato shades to?
“Everywhere. If you’re not ready to go back into the real world just yet, then they look just as good inside on a Zoom meeting too.”
Photographs by Ronni Campana. The Axel Arigato AW20 collection is available online now and in select stores.