Axel Arigato is an underground contemporary Swedish fashion brand headed by Albin Johansson and creative director Max Svärdh injected with counter-cultural references carving out a unique lane in the space between athletic shoes and luxury footwear for consumers looking for fashionable, minimalist goods. From the beginning, Axel Arigato has always been about showcasing the imagery the brand began with and channeling it through visual language. References include music, art, and architecture, which all illustrate the kind of world Axel Arigato wants to project. “We have a very product-focused approach and I work with the materials rather than working with traditional collections, concepts or seasonal stories. I try to create products that aren’t too abstract or conceptual. It needs to be functional and it needs to be worn by someone real. Then it makes sense to me,” explains Axel Arigato creative director Max Svärdh.
Before launching Axel Arigato, the founders saw a gap in the market for an affordable footwear brand with a couture quality. By forgoing traditional channels and engaging with customers directly, Axel Arigato has made its mark in the industry as the high-end footwear brand with an affordable price tag. While the retail price of Common Projects’ original low-top leather sneaker, the Achilles, hovers around $400, Axel Arigato’s similar Low Sneaker starts at $180. “That’s where the opportunity is. If you can make superior quality stuff at a value price, that’s what people want,” says Ryan Babenzien, who founded Greats in 2013. “Everybody wants the best they can get for the best price. Smart guys don’t want to overpay. People who want to buy status — that’s another thing.”
Axel Arigato aims to individualize each piece by launching a new style every week. The collections include men’s and women’s footwear and accessories. Axel Arigato goods are produced in Portugal with high-quality materials and fabrics.
Axel Arigato operates from the head office in Gothenburg. It’s an inspiring, fast-paced and energetic workplace that encourages new ideas and creativity. The flagship store in London opened in 2016 and marked the beginning of a new chapter for the company as they now move offline and invites customers to come, visit and experience their world.