Jonny Johansson Admires Amelia Earhart, Hasn’t Seen the Biopic

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Published February 8, 2010

PHOTO BY ALISON COOL

 

At his private presentation last week in Stockholm, ACNE founder and head designer Jonny Johansson took the stage and was overwhelmed by a sea of flowers and press. Unfazed, he enthusiastically led the group through his unconventional fashion show, Chet Baker softly singing behind him. One by one, the models walked into the center of the room, where their apparel was reviewed by Jonny. The season’s theme was tragic tomboy Amelia Earhart for both the men’s and women’s collections—her touch evident in the strong silhouette, long scarves, oversized shearling jackets, earth tones, Hawaiian motifs, and explicit gear. On the men’s side, the looks turned on a silk shirt and a flouncy hat.

In an adjacent room, ACNE showed a film made for the house by Andreas Larsson and the “Nya Berlin” furniture collection. It was  in one of these sofas that I had the opportunity to ask the designer a couple of questions.

MARIA ELENA GUERRA: Amelia Earhart’s influence was quite visible in the collection. Why her, why now?

JONNY JOHANSSON: Every year we want to portray and bring out the essence of a strong creative woman, she can be dreamed up but in this case she is a real person. Amelia was a tomboy, so she lent herself as inspiration for the men’s fall collection as well.

GUERRA: Did it have to do with the newly release biopic?

JOHANSSON: [LAUGHS] No, I haven’t seen it yet. After we began work on the collection we heard about the movie, but it was a coincidence.

GUERRA: You don’t shy away from traditionally feminine aspects of men’s clothin..

JOHANSSON: It has always been important for me to capture the sensuality all men have. There is always something explicitly feminine in every collection, and this season it is the hat for men.

GUERRA: A lot of brands achieve some level of success and move to Paris or London. And you’ve shown your standard runway shows abroad. Was this presentation a way of connecting to Sweden, beyond having your head office in Stockholm?

JOHANSSON: The importance of existing in a regional context is crucial and revitalizing. We are a Swedish brand and it is from here we operate.