WORDS BY DANIEL RAMSDALE
Axel Arigato have consistently been bringing contemporary and unique sneakers and apparel to the fashion industry for 6 years now. For a brand that is only 6 years old, they have achieved enormous success already, cultivating a following of 472 thousand on Instagram, and appealing to a wide target market of both males and females aged 18-45.
Founded in Sweden in 2013 by Albin Johansson and Mark Svarvdh, Axel Arigato has been built on contemporary fashion injected with counter-cultural references. None other than Japanese, with Arigato meaning “Thankyou” in English. From right at the very start, the Swedish label have preached that it’s all about showcasing the imagery they began with, and channelling that through various cultural references. These references mainly consist of music, art and architecture, which illustrate the brand image they want to globally project.
Both Albin and Mark started the label after spotting a gap in the market for affordable footwear that also combined couture quality. This is very much the reason for their meteoric rise in such a short time, with the brand known amongst the industry as the go-to for high end footwear with an affordable price tag
2015 however was the year where the wider fashion industry really started to take note of Axel Arigato, as they were initially in disbelief that the brand was producing 1 new sneaker style every week. It was considered that only the big dogs within the industry could achieve such a task, so when it was first heard that a brand only a year old and with a team of only two were achieving such a feat, bruh. This approach, coupled with a strategy focused solely on social media to build communities, has resulted in the brand already selling in over 100 countries. Oh, and let’s not forget, both founders didn’t even have any formal fashion education! Mad stuff.
Fast forward to 2019 and Axel Arigato has expanded their product offerings from sneakers to leather accessory goods and garments. Japanese architectural minimalism and counter cultural references continue to provide inspiration for their offerings, resulting in unique designs that people justhaven’t seen before. This is why in my opinion we can expect the labels garments to reach the success of their sneakers, as their designs embody street aesthetic but offer that wide commercial value which reflect their huge, diverse target market.
To add, the brand look set to further their success on the brick and mortar scene with pop up stores held in Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm over the past year. Expanding their presence away from their already popular stores in Gothenburg, London and Paris. And with a host of collaborations with the likes of Samsung and CAT recently, the label born in Gothenburg looks set to continue to take the fashion industry by storm.