January 20, 2011 Paris
As is often the case with Acne, founder Jonny Johansson's backstory was even more riveting than the clothes. He had been on an art weekend at Lismore Castle, the Irish seat of the Duke of Devonshire for the past 250 years, and he was inspired by the women of the family, a clan that includes the living legend Debo, Dowager Duchess. "I was never drawn to something classic before, but now I had a reason to do it," said Johansson. The plainness of a white shirt tucked into an elastic-waist skirt did, in fact, suggest the no-nonsense chatelaine of a grand country estate out for a stroll through her garden. Not so the urban black leather or the denims with their bejeweled trim, which efficiently targeted Acne's established customer base.