Another rising star from Sweden: Adnym Atelier was founded in 2016 by Frippe Persson, Johni Tadi and Stefan Söderberg and is a gender-neutral denim and fashion brand focusing on progressive denim styles. “Together we have over 40 years of experience from the fashion scene where we used to work at several brands such as Acne, Levi’s, Wrangler and one of us founded the brand Hope,” says Tadi, who is the brand’s creative director.
The collection contains shirts, hoodies, jackets, blazers, T-shirts, pants, outerwear and accessories. Prices start at €80 for jerseys and can go up to €1,000 for an outerwear piece. Denim and trousers are €150 to €300 depending on executions and fabrics.
Currently the brand is stocked in about 50 stores including locations in Tokyo, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo and Melbourne, among others.
Here, Tadi gives more insight about his vision.
Why did you start your own denim business at the beginning of 2017?
In essence, two things drove us to start a new denim brand. We felt a gap on the market for a new “progressive denim brand.” A brand that was challenging the standardized norms like seasons, gender, sizing and the perception what denim means. If we observe the market today, we have a section filled with heritage denim with Americana influences, we have rock ’n’ roll inspired denim brands and the range of typical southern European looks. On top of that it’s infused with masculinity or femininity. It didn’t feel creative or modern. The classic perception of a pair of jeans in most people’s minds is a version with five pockets. We wanted to challenge that and started with different silhouettes that could have four or seven pockets injected with freedom; you choose how to wear them, and not the other way around.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, was to develop a brand with its own intellect. It has to challenge what is normal but without ever making things inaccessible or pretentious. We are inspired by the contrasting elements found between Beirut and Stockholm–two opposites in many ways. We take the raw energy, aesthetic, shapes and colors of the former and connect this with Scandinavian minimalism and a sense of quality found in the latter. In many ways, you could say ADNYM is a creative clash where two cultures and personalities collide into something new. And as denim is our foundation, we wanted to bring the urban generation products you stereotypically would not expect from a denim brand.
Was this a long-cherished dream that you had pre-planned?
Like a game of chess, I have been making moves for almost 10 years until this moment occurred. It’s all about timing, skill and surrounding yourself with the right people that can complement each other’s shortcomings and together create a successful team.
What was missing in the collections of other brands?
Without being too harsh: a product (and brand) with modern relevance and intellectual meaning.
Why does the world need another denim brand?
We don’t, we don’t even need more clothes. Therefore, ADNYM is crucial. We stand for slow fashion with products, design and quality that withstand time and trends. Denim has been around for over 150 years for a reason: It’s functional, practical and has always had a rather rebellious spirit. That spirit however, has been lost along the way as denim became a standardized five-pocket jean polluting the world with its mass-consumption. Boring, horrible and not so relevant for the future. On top of that, denim is always associated with rock ’n’ roll, vintage or sex. Words that we do not connect with much, as we want our denim and brand to exist beyond these clichéd concepts. Something neutral yet progressive.
Why did you found Adnym Atelier as a gender-neutral brand?
It must be to push boundaries on all levels. Once we stop with preconceptions and start listening and feeling for ourselves instead of making up our mind based on irrelevant opinions or social structures, we will come closer to understanding and cherishing everyone’s differences. Thus denim, one of the world’s most beautifully designed and socially accepted garments, needs to push us in the right direction for progression. Besides I prefer to stay anonymous to neutralize the way I look and your opinion about the product or the brand.
What challenges arise for the design of a gender-neutral collection? What do you have to consider regarding silhouette, shapes and material?
In our process and mindset, we need to constantly consider how something will fit based on the pattern in combination with the material. If something is off, then it won’t fit into our concept and thus need reworking or being dropped out of the collection. The challenge is of course that given all the similarities both genders have, physically there are obvious differences that we address with thoughtful design choices. We are keen on making products that feels easy to wear, modern and relevant throughout the day so you can go on focusing on what’s truly important in life.
Tell us about the design process. What’s your inspiration?
It’s an ongoing discussion between the creative team, both externally focused on the market on a very personal level. How someone feels inside for the moment is reflected in the garments or the artwork for the season. Given the diversity in our team, you will get something unique and passionate out of every discussion and collection.
What fascinates you about working with denim?
The endless possibilities and diversity it offers should one want to push things forward.
Can you remember the feeling when you held the first samples in your hand and felt that it was getting serious?
Yes I do. Mixed feeling of excitement colliding with a sample that was not in line with the vision. Anticlimax!
What are the key items of the collection?
Our hybrid shirt-jacket “Sim Shirt” is a piece that you will love to wear on many occasions, offered in different fabrics to give you the possibility to be subtle and sophisticated in a premium wool fabric or more casual and direct in a premium Japanese slub denim fabric.
What is your favorite piece of the collection?
I live in Stockholm, and it’s December, so currently I won’t step outside without our lightweight down jacket. It’s oversized, very lightweight and keeps me warm. Combined with our denim/trouser ALO X 162, our loose fit silhouette inspired by Beirut, which I basically wear all-year around.
What are your plans for expansion?
We want to develop the brand with right partners, projects and creative collaborations. Regardless of what we do, we want to stimulate you, reward your intelligence and hopefully make you feel part of our collective. We take things slow and only take each step with profound intent.