6 posts tagged "Acne Paper"
What does it take to be a New Yorker? According to Acne Paper editor in chief Thomas Persson, confidence, energy, vitality, and sometimes, audacity. London-based Norwegian though he is, Persson has spent a good deal of time thinking about New Yorkism of late: The magazine’s 14th issue, dedicated to New York, launches tonight with a party at New York’s legendary Four Seasons restaurant. (On its cover: echt New Yorkers like Fran Lebowitz, Richard Serra, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.) Considering Acne opened a new store in Soho this past June and its designer, Jonny Johansson, married his longtime girlfriend in NYC last weekend, it would seem an appropriate time for Persson to feature the Big Apple. And within the pages of Acne Paper‘s latest issue, he unearths striking images and surprising stories that would intrigue even the most jaded of New Yorkers. There are archive shots by Steven Meisel, a new shoot with Karlie Kloss, a look into apartments in neighborhoods throughout New York, and a series of portraits by Brigitte Lacombe featuring New Yorkers including Martin Scorsese (pictured, above), Jeff Koons (pictured, below), and Lena Dunham. But, adds Persson, “I would love for people to actually read the magazine. There are some really good stories in there. New Yorkers are great storytellers.” Here, he speaks with Style.com about his first time in New York, the difference between New Yorkers and Scandinavians, and the city’s suggestive skyline.
Why did you choose New York for your first city-centric issue?
I had been wanting to do an issue on New York for a long time. It’s a city that’s totally different from any other place in the world. And, it seemed like a good time because Jonny just got married here last weekend. He and his girlfriend met in New York 20 years ago and they had this lovely wedding, so it seemed like a good moment to do sort of a love letter to New York City.
What do you think makes New York so mesmerizing?
Because it attracts a certain kind of person. People who choose to live in New York City are often full of ambition and drive. They have an enthusiasm for what they’re doing and for life. So it has this electric intensity that you don’t find in Europe. You come to New York if you really want to accomplish something. There’s a very high level of energy. Also, because it’s so compressed. It’s this little island, it’s a small place and the whole world has gathered here. I think that is really unique.
How do you feel that your Scandinavian perspective frames your view of the city?
Well, I’m Norwegian and I feel very Norwegian when I’m in New York. I don’t know how to describe it. People here are extremely outgoing, which I like. In the northern countries we are much more introverted. Here in New York, we are overwhelmed by this outgoingness. It’s an extremely social place and people are very open. New Yorkers are very into introducing people to each other and that is very different than where I come from. In Scandinavia we have a general mentality where people are very in tune with the same things but there’s no real class system or anything like that. So that’s very different too. Here, you have an enormous difference in how people live. And their viewpoints and mentalities are so radically different.
What were your initial impressions of the city?
The first time here was in 1990. I was very, very young and it was me and my boyfriend. We just went out to the Sound Factory and Disco 2000 and it was quite funny. One of the first people I met in New York was Michael Alig, of all people. So my impression was it was just so much fun. The nightlife was very different back then and I thought it was super exciting with all the club kids and the music. All that blew me away.
Why did you choose the Four Seasons Restaurant as the location for the party?
It’s just such a beautiful, timeless, elegant, chic restaurant. For me, Manhattan is a man. It’s not a woman. It has these erections of skyscrapers. And this place is so masculine. It’s a bit corporate. And I think that’s very New York. I also think it’s one of the most stunning places in the world.
The issue ($15) is available at Acne Soho, 33 Greene Street, NYC.
Since launching Acne Paper in 2004, the magazine’s editor in chief and creative director, Thomas Persson, has done far more than simply prove it’s not merely a glossy offset of the denim empire. This week, he’s in New York to fête the launch of the latest issue, number 13. And it’s a very fitting location for celebration—Acne is set to open its first flagship store and office (at 33 Greene Street) outside of Europe in Manhattan later this spring.
As for the latest 256-page edition, the theme is the human body. “We were interested in looking at the body from an artistic angle, one that is broader than the general representation of the human form in magazines today,” Persson tells Style.com. “I find that we are so obsessed with modern, rather boring beauty ideals, the perfectly chiseled, impersonal bodies often lacking in humanity, history, and a life lived. So we wanted to look at the human form as an inspiration beyond that.”
That vision carried over in interviews with the likes of Isabella Rossellini, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn (pictured, above), Lillian Bassman, and Lola Schnabel, and rich photo essays to go with them. Here, Style.com has the exclusive first look at a few of the editorials, including Fonssagrives-Penn’s (with photos by her husband, Irving, selected by their son, Tom Penn) and Bassman’s—both are women that drew Persson’s attention for their glamour and sophistication.
“I have always admired Lillian Bassman’s work and had the great privilege of spending an afternoon with her last September,” Persson says of the late fashion photographer, who died just last month. “I was so taken by her wit and strength and character and was so sad when I got the news she had passed away. Our interview must have been the last she ever gave.” As for Fonssagrives-Penn, he says, “I wanted to show an amazing side of her that is not so well-known, which is that of an artist. She was an incredibly gifted sculptor and painter; her work is my favorite of any artist.”
Acne opened its second Paris store Tuesday on rue Froissart in the 3rd arrondissement, but founder Jonny Johansson remained in a Swedish, not Gallic, mood. “I wanted to do something with a contemporary Stockholm vibe, because that’s where we’re from and it’s been on my mind a lot lately,” he said about the new shop. “When you walk in, you’re not sure if it’s a garage or a club.” (Understandably so—the space used to be a garage.)
Johansson and Acne’s in-house architect Andreas Fornell transformed the formerly oil-stained space (which Johansson found two years years ago while walking around Paris), making sure to preserve the concrete shell and adding a sleek chrome, marble, and beige-carpeted interior with suspended LED strip lighting. As a set piece, he installed a 650-kilo antique marble nude, which artist Daniel Silver dragged from Italy to London.
The Acne team came to Paris en masse to toast the opening and to celebrate with a midnight supper at Lapérouse, with friends Roxane Mesquida, Irina Lazareanu, Gaia Repossi, and Kenzo’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. Acne Paper‘s Thomas Persson showed up with a surprise guest, singer Jonny Woo from London, who performed a short set featuring shock-and-awe versions of the Doors’ “Tell All the People” and Nina Simone’s “Gin House Blues.”
Paris is only the latest stop for Acne, which already owns 30 stores worldwide; its next will open in New York (the city’s second) in 2012. In the meantime, Johansson has been busy planning Acne’s Fall men’s show in January, which will be shown in—sense a theme?—a Paris garage.
Fashion’s newest rock star is…a violinist? Acne Paper is the latest coup for the 25-year-old English virtuoso Charlie Siem, whose classical chops (and model good looks) are quickly making him into an a sensation. At a party last night at the Ritz in Paris for the launch of Acne Paper‘s 12th issue, editor Thomas Persson remembered first encountering Siem—via YouTube. “A friend of mine told me about Charlie and after I heard him play I knew I wanted to do an issue on youth and talent,” Persson said. “My grandfather was a violinist. He wasn’t at this level, of course, but I grew up in my grandparents’ house listening to this kind of music.”
In the new issue, Siem is shot by Andreas Larsson for one spread, and in another, by Bruce Weber, who imagines his 25th birthday party with a cast including actor Aaron Johnson, skateboarder Matt Giesler, and rugby player Paul Bester. Siem was on hand last night to play a few pieces for Couture-weary attendees like Alexa Chung, Francesco Vezzoli, Kim Jones, Philip Treacy, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, and stylist Hannes Hetta, who produced a moody shoot for the new issue with his sister, photographer Julia Hetta. Those expecting AM-dial classical got a jazzy, high-wire rendition of Antonio Bazzini’s Dance of the Goblins instead. (It also features on his new album.) “You can surprise people with a violin,” the handsome musician—who also stars as one of the faces of Dunhill’s Spring ’11 campaign, and recently appeared in VMan—said.