Black Friday Nike Air Jordan Future
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Acronym and co-founder/designer Errolson Hugh have built a technical empire in some unexpected ways. The company has a small and loyal fanbase and is located outside the established fashion blueprint, not the least that it's based in Berlin rather than, say, New York, Paris or London. 1Granary caught up with Hugh to talk about how the company has stuck to the game plan since its founding. A couple of takeaways are below.
Black Friday Nike Air Jordan Future, On keeping the team around the brand small (only seven people are involved at the design studio and the brand is completely independent of outside funding):
Acronym is small but very organic. Because we are completely independent there is no financing other than profit we generate by selling ourselves, and we really invest it back into the company. So when we grow, it’s very organic and very real, I guess. And we like to keep it small because in this case we are able to work very directly with every aspect of the process. ... in the last few years we’ve been working with quite a few larger companies and we did notice that a smaller business does actually have a lot of advantages, because the amount of time you spend actually doing the work and designing, versus managing and politics and any other aspect that distracts from your work, is much higher. It’s just more fun actually.
Black Friday Nike Air Jordan Future On the early days of Acronym:
When we started we, A: Didn’t know what we were doing, and B: We didn’t have a lot of money. The first thing we realised was that we couldn’t actually make a collection as we didn’t have proper resources. We came up with the idea to make a box-set, so that there are really two products inside that box that came together. All the ideas you normally put into a whole collection we put into those two things and by packaging it together, it made it sort of special. We designed them so that they worked together and it did something that two separate things just can’t do by themselves. It made a bigger impact than a whole collection could make. And then because there was nothing else we could actually do, we just showed them to our friends. It was incredibly organic because at that time we were working with Burton Snowboards and they had various contacts in New York.
It’s incredible, but at that time you had to actually call people and speak to them (laughs). Seriously, I had to travel around and physically go and show what we did. For the first couple of seasons, I would just pack it all in suitcases and show them. The first sales meeting I had was with Sarah Lerfel and it actually happened in the middle of Colette on the second floor on a Saturday afternoon, with me going up with the suitcases and showing the samples on the floor.
Hugh drops many a knowledge bomb in here, including how the brand still doesn't have a sales director, its No PR strategy and his thoughts on fast fashion. It's crazy how a brand can cultivate such loyalty considering how small it is and the almost lack of structure surrounding it, but perhaps that's what makes Acronym so likable to some—it's a genuine passion project for those lucky enough to work on it.
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