Don’t Wait a Minute More, L.A. Acne is Waiting for You Downtown-------
Acne Studios is heading to Downtown L.A. Tomorrow, the Swedish brand will open its largest store in the world (and its second stateside location) in the city’s Eastern Columbia Building—a thirteen-story 1930s art-deco landmark with a deep blue and decorative gold facade. “It started with the building, to be honest,” creative director Jonny Johansson told Style.com of his decision to decamp to an unexpected part of the city rather than one of its high-gloss shopping locales. “We can afford to not do what people think has to be done,” he continued. “And we always work with the concept of the space—we like to find somewhere historic and interesting, and then do something contemporary inside.”
The 5,000-square-foot, single-level space was based on Johansson’s own vision. “I tried to not learn the history of the building,” he said. “I just wanted it to speak to me.” The result is a futuristic interior with exposed columns and structural details that fit Johansson’s concept of modernity. The formatted rows of merchandise are expansive, as the store houses Acne’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and denim, as well as bags, accessories, and footwear. Though sleek and structural, the design actually embraces Johansson’s desire for privacy. “When you walk through the store, you see columns that create these private areas,” he said, referring to the mazelike floor plan. “I like to stay a little bit more private when I shop, and I think this structure allows for that.” Meanwhile, the flagship’s adjoining ilcaffè coffee shops—one of Johansson’s favorite spots back home—will offer customers a true taste of Stockholm.
Shifting the paradigm of what downtown means to the L.A. fashionscape, Acne’s L.A. flagship seems to be a beacon of what’s to come. Rumors of Aesop and A.P.C.’s arrival are swirling, and the new Ace Hotel down the street is receiving the finishing touches for an early 2014 bow. But at present, local shoppers have plenty to be excited about: In addition to the new store, Johansson has designed a limited-edition scarf (above) that boasts a print of the brand’s new SoCal home. Naturally, it’s available exclusively in L.A.
Acne Studios opens this Wednesday in the Eastern Columbia Building, 855 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014.