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Brand Focus: Axel Arigato

Thu 07 Dec 23

Axel Arigato has a lot going for it: streetwear, minimalist staples, Nordic design, killer sneakers; more importantly, it’s a flame of hope in the landscape of contemporary fashion. When so many companies are greedy and reckless in their practices, this one aims to do better.

Born in 2014 from the minds of Max Svärdh and Albin Johansson (serving as the creative director and CEO respectively), the brand grew as a response to the needs and values of the younger generation. Recognising a collective attitude of caring and wanting change, they decided to create an avenue for that. 

Departing from the well-trodden path of conventional fashion brands, they embarked on a mission to do things differently — prioritizing customer agency, a sense of community, and a mindful approach to both production and consumption.

The brand has since gone global, with physical stores in six European countries and the UAE, and an online presence that covers a whopping 134 territories worldwide.

Why Axel Arigato? Well, it’s obviously not the names of the founders. It’s a nod to the Japanese aesthetic that influences their designs.

Max Svärdh explained in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, saying, “The name Axel Arigato was intended to represent a mythical figure who would live on long after us.” Cool, but still quite cryptic!


Popular Releases

3 Axel Arigato Models all in white. Top - Clean 90. Bottom Left - Area Lo. Bottom Right - Dice Lo

Axel Arigato exploded online for its sneakers- picture clean lines, premium materials, and silhouettes that recall streetwear icons. On the simpler end, the Clean 90 Sneaker, akin to Adidas Stan Smiths, is a minimalist staple and would make a fool proof base for any outfit.

Gearing towards a more urban style, the Area Lo Sneaker and Dice Lo Sneaker won over skaters and sneakerheads with their understated colour combinations and low frames.

More recently, the brand’s clothing and accessory lines also started catching on. Offering up cosy loungewear, high-tech puffer jackets and bombers (plus matching boots), and quality basics with varsity style logos, dressed in Axel Arigato, you’re a vision of urban chic.

Its magic formula for success? Following mantras of enduring style rather than fleeting fashion. Most importantly though, knowing how to listen...

Rejecting the concept of seasonal collections, Axel Arigato approaches production with a clever, unconventional method. ‘Drop of the Week’ schedules one new style release every week based on suggestions and feedback from fans.

This takes some pressure off the design team, the people get what they want, and they avoid waste from overproduction! Of course, you’re not realistically going to get the cheapest prices, but it still costs less than other high-end brands. At least this way you can sleep easier at night knowing you are getting high quality products and causing less damage to the planet. 

Creating Lasting Connections

In Addition to creating stylish garments, Axel Arigato has built a loyal community on social media and beyond. Other than satisfying layouts and engaging content, there are also tons of weekly, in-person events that supporters can attend.

All over European cities the company organises in-store events and more, often collaborating with artists, designers, and influencers. From pop-ups and albums signings to panel talks and club nights, Axel Arigato stays busy providing platforms for talented people and creating fun, inspiring experiences. What better way to gain loyal customers than offering not just products, but an inclusive, stimulating lifestyle?


Developing Sustainable & Ethical Practices

‘Drop of the Week’ is a good start, but in terms of ecological footprint, can the Swedes put their money where their mouth is? 

The brand has taken positive steps to ensure sustainable and ethical practices in the production cycle and has an overall good environmental rating. It uses real leather, but it’s a by-product of the meat industry and sourced from tanneries with environmentally good practices.

It also incorporates recycled materials, like recycled polyester in sneakers and reprocessed down in jackets, demonstrating a commitment to reducing waste and promoting a circular fashion economy. 

Staying local as much as possible, it relies on European suppliers and factories- most of them family-run factories in Porto years of craftsmanship knowledge.

Some styles are produced in the Far East, where skilled workers handle technical products with high-quality synthetic fibres. While more can always be done, the brand positions itself as a responsible leader compared to the status quo.

If you want to support a brand that is forward-thinking, active in the community and doing its part for the planet, then look no further than Axel Arigato. And hey, even if you don’t care about all that stuff, it’s still a great fashion house with consistently strong style and covetable pieces available. 

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