Jonny Johansson Delivers Naughty, Nature-Inspired Looks at Acne Studios FW23

Jonny Johansson

Creative Director Jonny Johansson and Caroline Polacheck

Welcome to Johnny Johansson’s infinite forest. In a departure from Acne Studios’ signature school of Scandinavian minimalism, the brand’s creative director brought mossy dresses, verdant skirts, and hand-painted leather to Paris Fashion Week. After the show, Johansson bared it all to our senior editor Taylore Scarabelli backstage, where they talked fairy tales, dystopia, and why everything is naked now.


TAYLORE SCARABELLI: Congratulations on the show. 


SCARABELLI: How many times have you shown in Paris now?  

JOHANSSON: I wish I knew. [Laughs]

SCARABELLI: It’s so amazing to see your trajectory over the years. From elevated basics and skinny jeans to totally over the top collections.


JOHANSSON: I think this is something a friend said to me, but [with this brand] I can sort of travel and have fun along the way, and express where I’m going. 

SCARABELLI: Everybody used to be so obsessed with your Scandinavian minimalism. 

JOHANSSON: Urgh. [Laughs]

SCARABELLI: And now it feels like a fairy tale. Was that indulgence always an undercurrent for you? What inspired the show?

JOHANSSON: I’m quite confused by all the technology so I wanted to point in the direction of nature. The Scandinavian lifestyle is quite close to nature. You have the city life, this concrete, and then behind the house, you have infinite forest. So I thought this stark contrast between urban and nature was quite important, and sort of mystical.

SCARABELLI: Oh, yeah. You had a lot of utopian elements, I loved that mossy dress. Can you tell me about the material? 

JOHANSSON: It was inspired by moss and bark, all these sort of textures that you find in nature. I just piled them up on top of each other. 

SCARABELLI: Yeah, but then those leather looks, like that one-piece, were very dark and dystopian. There was a contrast there, for sure. 

JOHANSSON: It’s almost like clay. It was hand painted leather, actually. There was this crackly sort of look to it.


SCARABELLI: And this collection was pretty sexy. There was a lot of skin showing. That seems new for you. 

JOHANSSON: Well, with social media, everything is naked. After a while you get intoxicated by it. 

SCARABELLI: You have a lot of influencers here, a lot of celebrities coming to say hi to you. It’s such an important part of fashion today. But you sound almost pessimistic about it?

JOHANSSON: Not at all, I like the whole spectacle of it.