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Cult Sneaker Label Axel Arigato Launches In Singapore

Hyped-up sneakers get a Scandi touch.

Axel Arigato’s co-founders Albin Johansson (left) and Max Svardh.

What: The debut of Axel Arigato in Singapore which started selling here yesterday. Despite its moniker, the six-year-old underground sneaker label hails from Sweden. Co-founded by Albin Johansson (he’s chief executive and the brains behind the business and operations) and Max Svardh (he’s the creative director and design maestro), the label burst on the Instagram and e-commerce scenes and became an overnight success via word-of-mouth.

That serendipitous streak underscores the Scandi philosophy of the shoes which is big on stealth style and polished athleticism – basically, you won’t get ‘Frankensneakers‘ here. Svard told Highsnobiety that the label is not your typical streetwear brand. “It’s not streetwear in terms of something that is very graphic and has this huge logo on it. It’s more the cultural aspect of it. To address how these kids think and how they want to consume fashion today,” he said referring to how he’s influenced by street culture.

Axel Arigato opened its first flagship in Soho, London in Sept 2016, followed by two stores in Sweden and one in Denmark. The brand makes its Singapore debut via an exclusive deal with luxury distributor FJ Benjamin and is available on

The best-selling Clean 90 sneakers.

Why bother: While the market for designer sneaker brands is undeniably a crowded one, Axel Arigato cuts through the noise with its tasteful and discreet sneaker designs and pocket-friendly prices that seldom cross the $500 mark. Besides sneakers, the brand’s selection of merch includes ready-to-wear and accessories that are primed for fashion’s silent streetwear movement right now.

Its best-selling shoe design, the Clean 90 sneakers is in the same grain as can’t-go-wrong classic white tennis shoes – not unlike those Adidas Stan Smiths. Here, the brand has added its own spin with versions that come with subtle colour accents on the heel tabs and laces or embroidery of the brand’s signature bee-eater bird motif. Even when it dabbles with the chunky sneaker – cue the Swipe Sneaker – things are kept polished and uncluttered.

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The brand also flies the sustainability flag, using leather that’s sourced from Italian and Portuguese tanneries that abide by European laws on animal welfare and chemical restrictions. Recently, it debuted the Cap-Toe sneaker ($355) crafted from recycled PET bottles collected from the ocean and vegan leather. In a recent interview with Metcha, the duo revealed that 88 per cent of their upcoming Fall/Winter 2020 collection will be composed of either organic or recycled materials. Double tap that.

Clean 90 Triple leather and calf hair sneakers, $370
Clean 90 Triple leather and calf hair sneakers, $370
Clean 90 Triple embroidered leather sneakers, price unavailable
Genesis Triple leather and mesh sneakers, $409
Marathon Runner leather and mesh sneakers, $465
Swipe Sneaker leather and mesh sneakers, $379
Marathon Slipper leather and mesh mules, $325