Axel Arigato Interview: Why both design and business are important in shoe biz
Max and Albin at the Axel Arigato x Level shoes event
You said you work very much within two halves - design and business. Why do you think this methodology of working has been so successful for you?
Albin: It does reflect us as individuals and that we - within our partnership - are allowed to be ourselves. Moreover, one of them cannot be successful in the long run without the other part, both are equally important for success.
Max: At Axel Arigato, my focus is understandably design. When I was 17, I began importing jeans and not long after I launched my own ecommerce site. I certainly have a great understanding and appreciation for the business side too. It’s a dynamic balance between.
The Axel Arigato Instagram page boasts over half a million followers - how integral do you accredit social media to being to your business model?
Albin: Massive, we would never be where we are today without the power of social media. During the lifetime of the brand, social media has been a catalyst in terms of finding and talking to our community. It is however important to understand that every social media platform is different and constantly changing, therefore you need to rethink and redevelop what you are doing.
You’ve chosen to focus on a more online-retailer led business model - why is that?
Albin: When we did launch back in 2014 we only worked with and through our e-comm, no retail or wholesale partnerships. It allowed us to focus on the brand and create a strong brand awareness without any distractions - moreover you can be reactive and change your visual expression within days, which is not possible in more traditional channels.
What drops or launches should we be hyped-up about seeing from the brand?
Max: We will soon release our first eyewear collection followed by a collaboration this summer. We are also opening up more stores within the coming year, which I'm really excited about. Other than that, we are taking it step by step. Whatever we feel about doing at that moment we will do.
Finally, what have been your standout moments in this process so far?
Albin: I do believe that the best moments are always in front of us but so far I do think that the proudest moment was when I saw our shoes abroad for the first time, it was in London.
Max: In 2019 we hosted a one-day festival in Copenhagen featuring artists such as IAMDDB, GIGGS and Aminé. The festival was free of charge for all guests and embraced all cultural disciplines from music, art, fashion and technology. We feel very fortunate that we are in a place where we can offer our customers these unique experiences.