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Meet The Men Who Design Your New Favourite Trainers

o say that minimalist trainers are a ‘thing’ is to do disservice to things, which, by comparison, are positive wallflowers. Rare is the man who doesn’t own a pair of Common Projects, or one of the myriad Common Projects knockoffs. Who doesn’t have at least one spin on the Stan Smith in his sneaker rotation. But do the arithmetic and you’ll soon encounter a sartorial issue: minimalist design x maximum iterations = a lot of shoes that all look the damn same.

Which is what makes Sweden’s Axel Arigato so interesting. The brand was founded by two friends, Albin Johansson and Max Svärdh, whose experience in sneakers was limited to loving and wearing. But that fan-first approach means that their shoes, though grasping tight to Scandinavian ideas about how much more less can be, look like nothing else.

They’ve also eschewed traditional releases, opting instead to release a new shoe every Tuesday, for the past two-and-change years. That entire range is now available in the brand’s first store, on Soho’s Broadwick Street. It’s a glass-and-marble ode to minimalism, designed by fellow Swede Christian Halleröd, whose previously created spaces for compatriots Acne Studios and Byredo.

It’s a design that leans on Japanese ideas of what a retail space should be – clean, clear, with clothes not overawed by their surrounds. Unsurprising, perhaps, considering that the pair’s love of the country’s design ethos materialised in its name: Arigato is Japanese for ‘thank you’. “There’s a lot of similarity between Japanese and Scandinavian design,” says Svärdh.






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Date: 09.12.2018, 17:07 / Views: 32365