The hidden secret behind New York’s new favorite shoe label
It’s young, it’s fresh, and everything a lasting trend is and should be. Axel Arigato, New Yorkers’ latest favorite sneaker brand, has entered the scene with fury, its trademark Kanji symbols boldly defining ankles everywhere. But the brand has stayed well behind the curtains – until now.
A name is usually a good place to start. It’s not all that likely, but you may recognize Axel as the rather trendy boy’s name that has recently re-emerged in Sweden. Or chances are “Axel” may instead remind you of November Rain and iconic rock band Guns n’ Roses’ lead singer, Mr. Rose.
Now if you know a thing or two about the Far East, then you already know Arigato means thank you in Japanese. You’re already seeing the gesture aren’t you? A white-faced lady in a kimono bowing down, hands in prayer.
So the question is simple – what happens when you merge a popular Swedish boy’s name with thank you in Japanese? A very contemporary and rather mysterious fashion brand, that’s for sure – not to mention scores of people intrigued with the creative outcome the two seemingly completely unrelated words have morphed into.
Axel Arigato’s cross-cultural references began as a simple but ambitious vision, when Swedish co-founders Albin Johansson and Max Svärdh launched their one-of-a-kind sneaker brand in 2014. Since its launch, the brand has remained behind a veil, its founders rarely making public appearances or speaking to media. Axel Arigato remained something of a mystery, obscure and hidden – in rather direct contrast with its product: clean, streamlined, apparent.
“From the beginning, Axel Arigato has always been about showcasing the imagery the brand was started with and channeling it through a visual language,” Johansson explains.
The idea was to create a modern, sleek shoe with a minimalist aesthetic that came in premium designer quality – but that you need not just dream about slipping your feet into. Axel Arigato’s handcrafted shoewear are exquisitely designed in a way that only true top-level stuff can. Their sneakers scream expensive, but aren’t. Retract that. These shoes don’t scream, they buzz.
Initially only available online, the sneakers quickly grew in popularity. Social media platforms, especially Instagram, played an important role in expanding the brand’s fan base. The shoes featured curious Kanji symbols, and each pair came with chopsticks. Yes. Chopsticks.
But it soon became clear that these sneakers deserved to be showcased – so in September 2016, the works of art were given their very first store – Axel Arigato’s flagship – in the middle of London’s bustling Soho neighborhood. The boutique is as sleek and beautiful as the sneakers it hosts.
Whether online or at the store, people around the world are enthusiastically saying yes to Axel Arigato.
The public was attracted. They were sold. How can you not when such a cool sounding brand name offers you today’s perfect shoe?
The Shoe Showcase
• Axel Arigato sneakers are made of premium Italian leathers, handcrafted with care in Portugal, sold across the world with passion
• Shoes starting at US $195
• Order your pair at https://axelarigato.com/usd