Axel Arigato has pioneered an online-only sales model since launching in 2014, but now the cult footwear label has felt the call of bricks and mortar.
The Gothenburg-based brand has chosen London’s Soho for its first physical shop, calling in Swedish architect Christian Halleröd – known for his work with Acne – to design the Broadwick Street space.
Axel Arigato’s new home is a very modern hybrid of classic boutique, gallery-style presentation, with a relaxed atmosphere evoked by a resident DJ and plugs for people to charge their phones.
CEO Albin Johansson told Footwear News: ‘We don’t want to push the product, we want to push the brand. We want people to hang out at the store.’
Large, black-framed windows look into a minimal, monochrome interior dotted with sculptural concrete plinths and lit from overhead with white neon strips. ‘I saw the room more as a gallery than a retail environment,’ Halleröd said. ‘I added heavy, sculptural displays in a way that you would find in an art space. I think this works for the brand since their roots are in the internet rather than in classic retail.’
The newly opened store stocks Axel Arigato’s full range of men and women’s shoes, alongside an edit of rare Japanese books and magazines. From November, they will feature garments by Matthew Miller and jewellery by Göran Kling, and there are plans for the brand to expand into their own line of apparel.
Creative director Max Svardh told The Hunger: ‘Axel Arigato is a young brand that is constantly evolving. For us it only made sense to create a space that could evolve as well.’