As part of the London Design Festival, ACNE launched its first furniture collection with Liberty on Wednesday night. The five sofas will be available exclusively at London’s legendary retail emporium from this spring and are inspired by the work of Swedish designer Carl Malmsten. Using his iconic Nya Berlin sofa as a starting point, Jonny Johansson (creative director of ACNE) distorted the lines of the furniture to create surreal asymmetric shapes. Dazed spoke to Johansson about furniture, sex, denim and all things Swedish.
Dazed Digital: Why is a contemporary house such as ACNE going into furniture ?
Jonny Johansson: Why furniture? Why clothing?
DD: The prototypes you showed at Karl Lagerfeld's house in Paris, during couture week, were covered in denim - why denim?
Jonny Johansson: Denim is our history and heritage, I always believe that it is the perfect blank canvas. We treated the denim as we do our jeans - bleaching them, washing them and playing with coloured washes. Unfortunatly like a great pair of jeans they stretch as you sit in them - so we will be making the sofas in alternative upholstery fabrics.
DD: The forms of the sofas seem very sensual and slightly sexual - was this intentional?
Jonny Johansson: If you see it like that I would be very happy. Yes they have some organic lines, its not a coincidence of the process - I have been driving towards something sculptural, something almost human in form, and the human body is all about sex, isn't it?
DD: Swedish design has always been very interior related - why do you think this?
Jonny Johansson: Sweden has a history of handcraftsmanship. Most Swedish design has a very clean silhouette and is very wood-orientated. With such an abundance of wood we have learnt a craft of creating design which is hopefully both functional and beautiful.
DD: What's next for ACNE Furniture?
Jonny Johansson: We are aiming to work with our furniture through a fashion perspective and creating a seasonal collection.
The collection will be on display on Liberty's 4th floor from Saturday 18th - Sunday 26th September. Including a limited edition sofa in a Liberty signature floral print.
Text by Zohaer M.C