For some designers, it’s about building bridges. For Acne Studios founder and creative director Jonny Johansson, it’s about sitting under them.
“I’ve been spending time under the bridge lately at the skate park, and because it’s under the bridge, it doesn’t rain there and it’s not wet and slippery. It’s finding these poetic spots — under a bridge, where you have sort of like a beautiful concrete wave motion, and this whole idea of being under a bridge where nobody wants to be, where it’s beautiful, I thought was quite a beautiful idea,” said Johansson.
So Johansson brought the references from his favorite spot at Rålambshovsparken in Stockholm, mixed them with the metal arches and grommets on the underside of Paris’ own Pont Neuf, which crosses the Seine river, as elements for the brand’s new boutique on the Rue Saint Honoré. He also used Saint Maximin stone quarried from 30 miles outside of Paris that is used in the city’s classical Haussmannian buildings to give the space a modern take on an Old World aesthetic.
“The whole thing is like referring to Paris for me — it’s not like, that stone has that color of — if you look at the city as a whole, it’s beige. If you squint you see this stone, this pale color,” he added.
The result is all sharp-edged stone throughout the entire store, including the ceilings, with industrial light fixtures designed by Benoit Lalloz. The effect is immersive, but racks and handrails undulate in brushed metal, blurring the clean lines ever so slightly. Max Lamb handled the furniture installations, including supersized sofa platforms with a floating, cloud-like quality.
It’s a significant chunk of real estate. Acne took over the spot from Missoni, and did a complete revamp of the 4,100-square-foot shopping space over eight months. The brand continues to operate four smaller, more discreet, stores in Paris, including its famous Palais Royal door.
The boutique sits across from Balenciaga on Rue Saint Honoré, and signifies, in some ways, that the brand has arrived. It was always a dream of Johansson to have a store on the “quintessential” shopping street and he waited years to find the right spot. In celebration, they created their own signature “Saint Honoré” cocktail for the opening party Tuesday evening.
The shop will host the new pastel colorways of the Musubi tote, as well as the brand’s fall capsule collaboration with artist Martin Laborde. In a see-now-buy-now power move, the spring 2023 collection set to premiere Friday will be available immediately.