Monday 25th January

| BY Jack Moss

Acne Studios: SS16 Campaign & Exclusive Interview

Behold, Acne Studio’s brand new Spring Summer 2016 campaign! A Monday morning treat. An exclusive, I believe. Its star is a gentleman by the name of Robin Kegel, who, for those not familiar with the world of watersports, is a very good surfer. One of the best, apparently. So here he is, out of the wetsuit and into Acne’s brand new collection, photographed by David Sims in Biarritz. Lovely. And, just because we can, we talked to Jonny Johansson, brains behind the operation (he’s Acne’s co-founder and creative director) all about the new campaign. Read on, tenners…

Have you always been a fan of Robin Kegel? How did you discover him? 

When discovering surfing I realised that I was more interested in the European surf culture than the Californian one, and mainly the one in Biarritz. I kept on seeing and hearing about this guy, Robin, who made surfboards. Once I was in Biarritz surfing and I realized that he was at the same place and one thing lead to another. I think he is a very inspiring person and I see so many similarities in how he works now to how Acne Studios started back in 1996. It’s a fearless, more instinctive way of working.

Do you surf yourself? Are you any good?

I love to surf and I prefer to do it at Torö in Sweden where I have a summer house. I once invited Robin there. It’s a pebble beach with very choppy water and a strong wind. It is so cold you are meant to wear surf gloves and a hoodie, but after he tried them he threw them off and headed out into the water. He stayed in for an hour and a half. People on the beach were screaming because he was doing these pipes that nobody’s done on that beach before. With that story told, Robin is really good, I have only been surfing for 4 years so I am not as good. Yet.

What is it about him that epitomises this collection?

I didn’t want to do an obvious surf collection, rather to use his graphics on clothing itself. Robin creates graphical prints for his boards and we’ve made these jumpsuits that are almost as tall as a surfboard to show all his graphic waves and circles. In, addition his attitude to dressing is in the whole collection.

Have you been wanting to work with him a while? Or did it just come together this season?

It all came together for this season.  

The collection itself was inspired by the New York Dolls. What’s the train of thought between them and Robin?

Does there have to be? I’m inspired by many things and music is always close to me. When creating a collection there is often a music reference or link to what I do.  

Is music important? Do you play an instrument?

I think music has always influenced my work at Acne Studios in some way. This season’s main SS16 collection shown in September has very strong references to music, for example I have placed laser cut embroideries in chrome or plexiglass of guitars from my own private collection. Music was everything to me when I was a kid, and in my student years I played in many bands.

What’s the reason for moving towards a more gender neutral campaign?

Thinking about gender, but also about gender neutral is very dated I believe. I’m just searching for an expression that works for Acne Studios. It is about not caring about pre set boundaries or norms, rather just doing what you feel like. I think it’s the modern way of looking at how we dress.

How do you keep things new and interesting each season? Are there always lots of ideas bubbling under? 

I always have ideas, but I also have a really good team bringing new ideas to life.

Photograph by David Sims in Biarritz.