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Acne Studios brings back the iconic Acne Paper

In the wake of the New Brand Journalism trend, the most iconic brand magazine is back on the scene

Acne Studios brings back the iconic Acne Paper In the wake of the New Brand Journalism trend, the most iconic brand magazine is back on the scene

When it comes to the editorial projects of fashion brands, no magazine and publication is remembered with as much nostalgia as Acne Paper, the magazine produced by Acne Studios since 2004. The 15 semi-annual issues of the magazine, published under the direction of Thomas Persson, became an instant cult not only for the intrinsic quality of the publication, but above all for its ability to dialogue directly with the small circle of fashion insiders speaking, so to speak, a privileged language to a privileged audience. The publication of the magazine stopped in 2014 leaving a void in the field of fashion publishing that many other branded magazines tried to fill without really succeeding. But today the announcement was made that the publication of Acne Paper will resume with the publication of the sixteenth issue entitled Age of Aquarius, always directed by the original editor, but with a new look and a shift in thematic area, which will try to adopt «more global and politically charged» perspective, cas Tamison O’Connor writes on Business of Fashion.

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The soft reboot of the magazine, which will be a hybrid between the magazine and the coffee table book designed to become a real collectible, arrives, however, in a cultural context extremely different from that of 2014. The CEO of Acne acknowledged this by pointing out that «it is a different world today than it was in 2005 and this magazine now also reflects that» but the issue does not only concern the contents per se but also the entire context in which the magazine as a product is located in 2021. The most important feature of this reboot, therefore, is the accentuation of the collectible nature of the magazine. If in the original print run the magazine was simply a magazine, therefore collectible according to its quality, Issue 16 wants to be a collectible. From the format that resembles that of the book to the removable cover that turns into a poster, acne Paper's new look represents an overcoming of pure branded journalism and becomes a product itself – in a way that previous issues were not. This slight switch is due to the change of cultural perspective: the editorial nature of the collectible, as well as its cult status, expand on the one hand the credibility and cultural heritage of the brand while, on the other, its nature as a physical object responds to the renewed need for realness that the public requires of fashion brands making it also a tool of recognizability and indirect community building. Something similar has been done by the brand French Études with its series of collectible photo books Études Books.

Today the most famous branded magazine is perhaps Issued by Bottega, a digital magazine composed of only images that tells the cultural universe of Bottega Veneta through photoshoots and digital animations. Moncler Now and Gucci Stories are also digital, while Uniqlo's LifeWear Magazine is semi-digital. All these magazines, however, in addition to being digital are also almost exclusively intangible and brand-centric, while from the beginning Acne Paper was produced by an editorial team external to the chosen brand to prevent the magazine from becoming a kind of "catalog" of Acne Studios. In this sense, the magazine's project is close to that of paper publications with a more openly cultural soul such as Hypebeast Magazine and Highsnobiety Magazine. According to the brand, Acne Paper will continue to «focus on culture in the broadest sense, exploring an eclectic variety of subjects through photography, fashion, art, literature and journalism» covering also «more current ecological and political issues, offering a platform to progressive personalities from various academic backgrounds around the world, from philosophers to activists, from architects to scientists, from historians to curators».

Acne Paper's Issue 16 - Age of Aquarius is available at this link.