Axel Arigato Promotes Jens Werner to Creative Director

LONDON — Swedish footwear and fashion label Axel Arigato has named Jens Werner its new creative director.

Werner, who joined the company in 2021 as head of ready-to-wear, succeeds Max Svärdh, who cofounded the label alongside Albin Johansson in 2014. Svärdh will remain a board member and co-owner of the label.

A self-taught designer, Werner previously was the creative director of J.Lindeberg. He has also worked for Y-3, the fashion-focused line between Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto, and served as design director at Tory Burch’s performance activewear line Tory Sport.

In his new role, Werner said he will create the next generation of the Axel Arigato brand while building on the decade-long legacy of teamwork and collaboration.

“Having worked at the brand now for three years, Axel Arigato is very personal to me. When I joined, the brand had been a sneaker label for seven years — so to be able to be a part of defining the ready-to-wear category was really special. In this next chapter, I look forward to harmonizing footwear, ready-to-wear, accessories, spatial design, and all creative outputs to ensure everything exists within a cohesive universe,” added Werner.

The brand’s fall 2024 campaign, to be revealed in a few weeks, will offer a glimpse of Werner’s vision for the brand.

“It will be a brand-new visual concept for us as a brand that incorporates multiple creative touch points. It’s a bold new vision for Axel Arigato that has been many months in the making and that will be rolled out across the whole season,” he said.

In terms of new areas, the designer said he is looking to integrate his passion for interior spaces and design with a bigger focus on furniture and objects.

“Part of this more unified design vision will allow for the creation of further categories, something we’ve briefly explored in the past. In this next chapter we hope to look at new ways of creating a full lifestyle brand that can expand horizontally, rather than vertically. From interiors to artworks, fashion to footwear, it’s about fusing together design, art and design elements to create a contemporary all-encompassing brand that’s always evolving,” said Werner.

“Our physical spaces are such an integral part of the brand’s creative vision, so I want to maintain and develop this further in both inviting and unexpected ways,” he added.

With a fast-growing global footprint backed by Eurazeo — new stores launching in London and New York this summer — Werner said he wants to position Axel Arigato as “an accessible, understandable and aspirational lifestyle brand.”

“I want people to share in our team’s passion when looking at our brand — and to see the small details that we care so much about. Hopefully, this encourages people to check back in with us and to create a sense of curiosity — like they don’t want to miss out on something,” he added.

Werner teased that the brand will launch three collaborations this year, and a limited-edition capsule collection that “reflects my initial step into footwear design — questioning our ethos and really platforming the incredible craftsmanship that goes into our shoe making.”

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