Perfectly positioned in the sweet spot between luxury and accessibility, Swedish footwear and accessories label Axel Arigato has catapulted itself into the fashion stratosphere in the space of just two years. Having built its success exclusively online, this month sees the brand breach new frontiers with the opening of its first bricks and mortar store in London’s Soho.
‘Selling strictly online and marketing through social media was our entry to the market, a way for us to begin our story,’ says CEO Albin Johansson. ‘But having our own flagship store has always been on our minds and I’m really excited to now offer a brand new platform where we can express our identity in a different setting and perspective, while staying true to the same philosophy.’
To help them translate the digital experience into a physical one, Axel Arigato’s creative director Max Svärdh turned to acclaimed architect Christian Halleröd, the man behind store designs for fellow Scandinavian labels such as Acne, Byredo and Frame.
The store's Broadwick Street exterior
Located on a Soho street corner, the store’s dual frontage, lined with 4m-high windows, fills the glossy white interior with daylight. Unfinished concrete pillars, mirrors and a black gridded ceiling framed by perfect lines of pure LED light add to the sharp-edged effect. In the centre of the space, laid out on 450kg slabs of rough-cut white terrazzo stone, the full range of men’s and women’s shoes, accessories and clothing, as well as a selection of rare Japanese books, magazines and objects, are showcased like works of art in a gallery.
‘We needed a minimalist palette because the products we offer are so diverse and individualised,’ explains Svardh. ‘Instead we started looking for different surfaces that could add depth to that tonality. I also wanted to allow flexibility for upcoming projects and collaborations. Axel Arigato is a young brand that is constantly evolving. For us it only made sense to create a space that could evolve as well.’
In order to create a wider lifestyle experience, the store will also carry a number of carefully selected brands such as Matthew Miller and Goran Kling – and even the chairs, designed by Halleröd, are available for purchase.