Acne Studios West Hollywood

Amid denials of reports touting a potential sale, Acne Studios is chugging along with its global retail expansion plans.

On Friday, the 21-year-old Stockholm-based brand will open its newest store in West Hollywood, its second Los Angeles location following its downtown L.A. opening in 2013.

The 2,700-square-foot store at 8920 Melrose Avenue, down the street from Maxfield and James Perse, and around the corner from Hedi Slimane’s design studio and Jenni Kayne, is the company’s 54th location worldwide.

Acne Studios West Hollywood

Acne Studios in West Hollywood.  Courtesy photo

“L.A. is one of the most vibrant and creative cities in the world. We keep coming back to the city for inspiration and for the special atmosphere. Downtown L.A. was a great starting point for us, but we always knew we wanted a store on the westside also. Anyone who has ever been stuck in L.A. traffic will understand why. Store scouting is always about the combination of space and location, and in 8920 Melrose Avenue we were lucky enough to find what we were looking for on both parameters. We love the mood of this store,” said Mattias Magnusson, Acne’s chief executive officer.

As a niche yet relatively mature company, Acne can afford to think outside the box. “The retail landscape of today tends to be pretty boring and formulaic. Our ambition is to only open stores where we feel we can create a real point of interest. Melrose Avenue is quite different from our downtown L.A. store as well as our other stores around the world and I hope that people who take the time to explore them will find them very complementary,” Magnusson said.

The pavilion-style single story building, formerly an art gallery, has a two-wall glass facade to emphasize the light and space that Southern California is known for.

At the center of the store is a specially commissioned large-scale abstract sculpture by artist Daniel Silver, made with a frame of blackened aluminum draped with cut outs of double-faced wool cashmere.

“I love that in L.A. we have the space and light to make Daniel Silver’s work the focus of our new store. His structure feels alive, and sets the mood for the whole location,” said creative director Jonny Johansson.

Two long-term Acne Studios collaborators also contributed to the store: Max Lamb made custom seating and display furniture, and Benoit Lalloz incorporated 85 of his round aluminum light fixtures into the floating corrugated ceiling.The store sports rough concrete floors, and corrugated ceiling and walls in a pale acid yellow. There’s a courtyard patio in the back that continues the vibe outside.

To celebrate the launch, Acne Studios has collaborated with Silver on 100 limited edition, signed T-shirts featuring a print of his work, available exclusively at the new store. 
There will also be a private party there Thursday night.

In terms of what’s next for the company’s U.S. retail strategy, Magnusson said, “Building stores in the U.S. is kind of complicated. I think we may need a bit of a rest after this one.”

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