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16 Apr

EXCLUSIVE: Axel Arigato Translates English Luxury for Now With

LONDON — Cult luxury meets cult streetwear. 

Swedish sneaker brand Axel Arigato has partnered with British luxury brand Mulberry on a capsule collection that reimagines the codes of leather goods with a up to date take.

Mulberry has been firm in returning the health of the brand back to its glory days.

In November, the Mulberry group saw sales within the U.K., its number-one market, fall 10 percent in the primary half, while business in China was up 6 percent despite lockdown restrictions within the region.

Overall, group revenue was broadly flat within the six months to Oct. 1, dipping 1 percent to 64.9 million kilos.

Its partnership with Axel Arigato could take Mulberry into untapped markets: Gen Z, Millennials and sneakerheads.

“This collaboration with Axel Arigato champions each brands’ shared values of community and engagement with contemporary culture. It should be dropped at life on the events our brands are co-hosting in London and NK Stockholm [the name of the department stores located in Stockholm and Gothenburg], bringing together our communities in an interesting way, and celebrating our affinity to music. Collaboration allows us to succeed in recent and diverse audiences,” Thierry Andretta, chief executive officer of Mulberry, said in an email.

Cofounders Albin Johansson and Max Svärdh.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

The discussion began between Mulberry’s chief business officer Ian Earnshaw and Albin Johansson, cofounder of Axel Arigato with Max Svärdh, who’s also the creative director of the brand.

“We got here to the conclusion that it was an unexpected pairing and I’m all the time enthusiastic about surprises,” Svärdh told WWD.

“We haven’t been around for that long. Next yr it’s going to be 10 years of our brand and we grew up with Mulberry products in Sweden, in order that they have loads of history,” he added.

The place to begin for Svärdh to dive into the world of Mulberry was unorthodox — he didn’t visit the brand’s manufacturing headquarters in Somerset, England, but as an alternative went on a deep Google search.

“That’s the trendy way of an archive,” he said half-jokingly. 

Axel Arigato for Mulberry.

Axel Arigato for Mulberry.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

Mulberry’s Bayswater bag from 2003, a big style with a downward flap and versatile side gussets, served because the muse for Svärdh, basing a majority of the gathering’s design vocabulary on the bag.

Svärdh has blown up the Bayswater right into a large scale with croc embossed leather, an even bigger handle and a length that measures in at 55 centimeters. At the identical time, they’ve produced three mini versions in a turquoise and green colorway. The luggage also include additional charms reminiscent of a love heart and mirror that are the entry point products sold individually at 95 kilos.

The luggage are priced between 895 and 1,950 kilos. Andretta said the pricing was consistent with Mulberry’s current collections and it reflects the brand’s commitment to “crafting quality products which can be made to last.”

Mulberry produced and took the lead in pricing for baggage, jewelry, belts and key rings; meanwhile, Axel Arigato took charge of footwear and ready-to-wear.

The luggage were made at Mulberry’s carbon-neutral Somerset factories with environmentally accredited leather.

“It’s a weekend bag swiftly and we actually desired to make a press release with it,” said Svärdh.

The opposite bag he toyed with was a small vintage shoulder style with leather trims and antiqued brass hardware that’s been transformed right into a smooth black leather version with a gold buckle closure in the center.

Axel Arigato for Mulberry.

Axel Arigato for Mulberry.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

Svärdh sent references of the baggage and in turn Mulberry found them within the archives and shipped it to him, apart from one bag that he found on eBay.

The signature postman’s lock on the Mulberry bags has been added to the tongue of the sneakers, used as buttons for the jackets and coats, in addition to an ornamental touch to the hoodies.

The apparel is a giant a part of the collaboration that Svärdh spearheaded — incorporating the Mulberry tree logo designed by the brand’s founder Roger Saul’s sister Rosemary.

The tree is printed onto Ts, denim jeans, trench coats and varsity jackets.

Axel Arigato for Mulberry.

Axel Arigato for Mulberry.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

Axel Arigato ventured into apparel in 2017 with a six-piece menswear capsule after seeing shop floor feedback. The corporate enlisted the assistance of Jens Werner, its head of ready-to-wear, previously former creative director at J.Lindberg.

The brand secured a $7.5 million investment from the specialist fund Vaultier7 in 2018. On the time, Svärdh revealed that the cash can even be used to ramp up the clothes and niknaks offerings, in addition to physical and online retail expansions.

The gathering might be sold online on each parties’ web sites, in addition to of their brick-and-mortar locations.

Axel Arigato’s biggest market thus far continues to be the U.K. inside Europe, with France “growing very well” and the subsequent expansion being into the U.S. and Asia.

“Our first store in London has been an enabler for us since day one because we were in a position to construct up our visual world. From a consumer perspective, it was quite a bit easier to know and understand what Axel Arigato was about because before that we only existed online or through wholesale partners,” said Svärdh, who declares retail alive greater than ever.

Axel Arigato for Mulberry

Axel Arigato for Mulberry.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

“You could give people a reason to come back to your store, irrespective of if that’s an experience or a visible or service reason. You either go in a route that’s transaction based and that’s why you open a store otherwise you give the buyer an experience, that’s what we’re about. It’s completely tremendous in case you come to one in all our parties and also you don’t buy s–t, but you’ve come for the experience and that’s what we’re all about,” he added.

Axel Arigato and Mulberry might be hosting a celebratory party for the collaboration in an underground automotive park in central London with special performances by Lancey Foux and Tommy Gold.

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