WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
The Swedish label offers a fresh, contemporary take on sneakers and plenty of cultural and design inspiration.
Like it or not, this was the year of the sneaker and with life-at-home and lockdowns being prolonged, it doesn’t look like the style will be going away any time soon.
It’s easy to grow tired of the same old pair of Adidas Stan Smiths or Veja low-tops that you’ve been seeing on yourself and the rest of the world for the last year – as comfortable and cozy as they might be. That’s why we’re pressing ‘follow’ on Swedish sneaker label Axel Arigato’s Instagram feed this week – and suggest you do too – for a much-needed jolt of inspiration on how to refresh our sneaker style.
Staying true to the spirit of Nordic minimalism, the Swedish label isn’t about making big, loud statements. Yet it still manages to offer a fresh, stylish approach on the sneaker by way of subtle details: An embroidery of a swallow or a daisy on the sides of its ‘Clean’ plain leather sneakers; a touch of neon on the tips of laces; or some subtle Nineties-inspired colour-blocking on its chunkier ‘Marathon’ sneakers.
The shoes are also timeless and available across seasons, with new styles or variations introduced via online “drops of the week” rather than traditional fall-winter or spring-summer collections.
More than just offering great-looking shoes, founders Max Svardh and Albin Johansson have always imagined an entire world around their shoes, informed by modernist architecture, music and art. So when you’re buying a pair of their sneakers you feel like you’re being let into an exclusive club of design and culture mavericks. That’s why their stores – scattered across Copenhagen, London, Stockholm and Munich – are filled with as many design objects as shoes. And now that they had to shut the doors of the physical stores due to COVID-19, the design duo share art and design inspirations on Instagram, alongside live DJ gigs and snaps of their community wearing the brand’s sneakers and new range of sweat suits in stylish, cool ways that will motivate you not to give up on making an effort with your lounge wear just yet.
What’s best is that unlike other less commercial and more design-led brands, Axel Arigato sneakers don’t come with a premium luxury price tag – testament to Svardh and Johansson’s conviction to shake up industry rules and conventions.
The idea of Axel Arigato started with questioning the whole structure of the industry. By foregoing seasonal collections and engaging with customers directly we launched with one main objective: To embrace the now and always look for the tomorrow,” said the design duo.