The Swedish fashion collective Acne Studios (Acne stands for ‘Ambition to Create Novel Expression’) has been around since the ‘90s, and is known for its cutting edge approach, not only to clothing design but also to marketing the Acne brand. The label calls its stores 'studios' in reference to its desire to create places that promote not just consumerism but also artistic expression.
Acne Studio's new Copenhagen store is inspired by peep shows and red light districts. — Photo courtesy of ACNE Studio
The new store on Pilestræde in downtown Copenhagen is the second Acne studio in the Danish capital. Opened in February 2012, it's in exclusive company, surrounded by other luxury fashion houses the likes of Louis Vuitton, A Pair, Bruuns Bazaar and Designers Remix. The upmarket location is in stark contrast to Copenhagen’s red light district on Istegade, a few blocks from the Central Train Station.
It's this rather less salubrious street, however, that forms the inspiration for the concept of Acne’s Copenhagen flagship store, which boasts a red light district theme: The windows are high up and the door is covered with the store’s logo, so - like a peep show - it’s impossible to take a peek without actually going in. Once inside, the shop is a collection of ruby red tones, from the floor to the ceiling, with maze-like fixtures of different textures.
Acne Studios co-founder Jonny Johansson described the store’s theme as a reference to Copenhagen’s reputation as the bad boy of Scandinavia: ”When I think of Copenhagen, as a Swede, it's all about drugs, sex and naughtiness – it’s dirty, subversive, loose and fancy free. My first memory of Copenhagen was of its red light district - Sweden doesn’t have a red light district so that has always stuck with me. Therefore this shop will be red, red, red, red and a little dirty!”