November 03 2010
Lucia van der Post
Fashion labels playing house are nothing new. These days those who love Missoni’s way with a dress or a sweater can buy its towels, its chairs, its carpets, too. And not just Missoni – Armani, Versace, Hermès, Orla Kiely and Diesel all allow those who have tapped into their fashion lines to buy a little something for the house as well.
Latest to enter the field is Acne, the cooler than cool Swedish brand – and in case you’ve ever wondered why it’s called Acne, it stands for “Ambition to Create Novel Expressions”. Its creative director, Jonny Johansson, always loved the designs of Carl Malmsten, a well-known Swedish designer, and in particular what came to be known as the Berlin sofa, which Malmsten designed in 1949 for the Swedish consulate in Berlin. To use Johansson’s own words, he “squashed it, stretched it, elongated it and distended it” until he came up with three different sofas and two chairs, each looking amazingly elegant and, more to the point perhaps, very à la mode in a neoclassical kind of way. They were first shown at Maison et Objet in January, then at the Milan Furniture Fair in April and now, finally, they are in the UK.
The most usual covering is denim but they are also upholstered in a creamy-beige Kvadrat fabric. However, the image that first caught my eye is a version exclusive to Liberty. Here Acne has raided Liberty’s archive and covered the pieces in a gorgeous flower-strewn fabric with a navy background (pictured). It’s just the beginning of Acne’s exploration of the world of furniture. Prices start at £4,000 for a chair and go up to £9,000.