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Acne Hearts Candy

The Swedish fashion brand asked Luis Venegas and his Candy Magazine to design a capsule shirt collection inspired by transgender cross-dressing

Madrid-based editor and publisher Luis Venegas is renowned for introducing such groundbreaking titles as EY! Magateen and Candy Magazine and this winter season he’s also proving a knack for designing fashion. Teaming up with the Swedish powerhouse Acne, Venegas has created a capsule collection of shirts that take inspiration from “the transgender and cross-dressing” – the key themes behind his publication Candy.

Named after characters from Venegas’s favourite TV series, Dynasty, each shirt carries both masculine and feminine elements, offered in either silk crepe of Italian denim. Big sleeves decorate 'Krystle', 'Sammy Jo' features subtle ruffles at the neck and the most dramatic of them all -  'Alexis' - comes aptly equipped with a large bow. The Acne Candy collection is exclusive to Selfridges and launches on 10th December.

Dazed Digital: How did the Acne collaboration come about?
Luis Venegas:
When Acne first approached me, they said they wanted me to create something in the spirit of Candy. I was very excited about it, because I love their magazine and brand. Funnily enough, I did fashion design before starting the magazines, so it all felt like going back to my roots somehow!

DD: Why did you pick Dynasty?
Luis Venegas:
Well, I grew up watching Dynasty. It was my first introduction to fashion. I remember Joan Collins watching all those amazing dresses by Nora Miller. They represented so much power – back then, it was my perfect picture of female 'flamour'. So we talked about creating three different shirts and decided to do something flamboyant and tranny.

DD: How did the concept of cross-dressing translate into the designs?
Luis Venegas:
We took a typical American denim shirt as our base and then introduced more flamboyant details. I wanted the shirts to be items that can be worn by both men and women but at the same time I didn’t want them to be unisex. I like the idea of clothes that create some kind of confusion. Clothes that make you ask yourself: is this for a boy or a girl? I think if the shirt is nice, you shouldn’t really care. So the masculine element comes through in the fabrics we used, mainly denim. All the bow ties, ruffles and large sleeves are very feminine but they can also be masculine – it all depends on how you wear them.

DD: What’s your favourite style from the collection?
Luis Venegas:
The shirt with the bow tie because it reminds me of Alexis. She’s my favourite character!

In other Acne news...

The fashion brand this week also launched its ACNE WHITE / ART T-SHIRT PROJECT in collaboration with Aileen Corkery and Laura Burlington. Set up to support emerging artists, four new creatives will be commissioned to interpret Acne's white T-Shirt. “Acne is built on different creative disciplines, so for me to fuse fashion and art is super interesting”, says Jonny Johansson, its creative director.The product will then be available to buy in selected stores and galleries. The two-year project starts off with the London-based artist Stefan Brüggemann. To apply for the ACNE WHITE / ART T-SHIRT PROJECT, go to