When the best of two much-loved design worlds from the East and the West merge, a new fashion frontier emerges, pushing the boundaries of creativity to become a favourite destination of those in the know.
Über-cool luxury sneaker brand Axel Arigato has captured the ubiquitous minimalism of Scandinavian and Japanese culture, and let their playful imaginations (not to mention impeccable taste) do the rest.
The result? Only the coolest sneakers you’ll ever have the pleasure of wearing. And we don’t say that lightly.
Rewind to Sweden, 2014. Co-founders Max Svärdh and Albin Johansson imagined a luxury-yet-accessible lifestyle brand, combining minimalist style with an edge and a touch of luxe.
Underpinning their trademark minimalism with luxurious details, their vision of premium yet affordable sneakers was promptly realised.
Bedecking the star-studded feet of celebrities like Bella Hadid, Justin Beiber, and Margot Robbie (to name a few), Axel Arigato’s luxury sneakers are sure to inject a new spring into your every step.
Handcrafted in sunny Portugal, using the finest Italian materials, it’s their meticulous craftsmanship that propels each sneaker into showstopping footwear you’ll want to wear every day.
Hitting that elusive sweet spot between couture-quality craftsmanship and wallet-friendly affordability, that’s just one of the many things this Swedish brand has got on point.
Oh, and even more good news: The brand started with sneakers, but Axel Arigato has since expanded its creative horizons with ready-to-wear and accessories for men, women, and mini trendsetters.
So, if ‘effortlessly cool’ is your modus operandi, make space in your wardrobe for Axel Arigato—trust us, you’re going to need it.
Notice their exotic-sounding brand name? Of course, ‘arigato’ in Japanese means ‘thank you’. However, scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find the literal meaning is far more profound. Meaning ‘difficult to exist’, the subtext is this: precious, valuable things are hard to find. Well, au contraire, Axel Arigato, we say you make it look easy.
Creativity always afoot: power to the people
Axel Arigato embodies the future of socially-driven shopping, working to bring individuals and communities together through pop-ups, book launches, and album signings hosted at their stores.
Of course, this approach offers many-fold benefits: exciting events bring people together, nurture local talents, and thus, give back to communities. How often does a brand truly live up their mission? Spoiler: rarely.
They support their IRL events with a digital-first approach, too. By providing direct communication via social media, customers can give feedback, preferences, and be at the centre of product creation.
Not a brand to sit on their haunches, they’re constantly creating, offering up a brand-new style every single week. Check their drop schedule online to get clued-up on up-and-coming designs so you can be miles ahead of the game.
Step up: into sustainable sneakers
Converted yet? We certainly are. And check this: we haven’t even started on their commitment to sustainability.
Animal-lovers rejoice: Axel Arigato leather is a by-product of the meat industry, and each tannery is fastidiously selected based on their environmental efforts and practices.
Leather aside, the Scandi brand is constantly working on ways to be more sustainable, aiming to incorporate sustainable practices into every aspect of business, from sourcing materials to day-to-day operation.
The sneaker spotlight: our favourite picks
One of our favourite young luxury brands, Alex Arigato is giving traditional luxury sneakers a run for their money. Keep scrolling for a sneak(er) peek of our go-to pairs to wear on-repeat, keeping your feet comfy and stylish come rain or shine.
4 selected styles for the sleek man’s wardrobe
Minimalist sneaker: Clean 90
Every self-respecting shoe wardrobe needs a classic white sneaker. Enter: the Clean 90. Exuding minimalist style, this understated sneaker offers a cushioned footbed, arch support, and a sleek silhouette.
Handcrafted from leather, the Clean 90 Sneakers will give your feet a fresh lease of life, whether you’re heading out on the town or dashing to the shops.
Dapper dad shoe: Genesis Vintage Runner
In case you had any doubts: dad shoes are still very much in style. Make waves with every step in the Genesis Vintage Runners. This fusion of retro and contemporary style truly transcends the decades.
Boasting a light grey and black design with a wink of vibrant orange for a truly stand-out aesthetic, these innovative sneakers are the epitome of effortless style. And the best part? They’re crafted from recycled bottles and plastic waste, so you’ll truly be wearing the future with the Genesis Vintage Runner.
Low-key low-top: Midnight Low
We adore Axel Arigato’s take on the humble low-top sneaker. The Midnight Low is simplicity at its finest, elevating your style to sky-high levels while remaining smooth and low-key. Woven from organic cotton and made with sustainable practices, this shoe epitomises how things should be done.
Plus, the unique autoclave construction both minimises waste and keeps every pair unique. Paying homage to the classic vintage low-top sneakers of bygone decades, the Midnight Low is the forever shoe you need.
Retro runner: Marathon R-Trail
The Marathon R-Trail sneakers mean business. Made for treading trails in the Great Outdoors, this hard-hitting sneaker is about to become your favourite running buddy.
Brimming with slick design touches like embroidered graphics, micro-mesh, and loop laces, these sneakers make light work of trail running.
Reflective transfers running from heel to toe will ensure you’re visible, too. And believe us, sporting the Marathon R-Trails, you’ll want to be seen.
4 must-haves for the well-shod woman
Trailblazing trainer: Marathon Runner
#Throwback to slick nineties style, the futuristic yet nostalgic Marathon Runner is crafted with an exaggerated sole, keeping that old-school aesthetic alive and kicking.
Channelling a structured, technological feel, the Marathon Runner combines calf leather and wide-weave mesh for a pro-athlete aesthetic that’ll make Olympians of us all (disclaimer: not literally).
Va-va-voom vintage: Genesis Vintage Runner
For eco-friendly chic that’ll have your feet planted firmly on the right side of history, the Genesis Vintage Runner is a must-have. Crafted from recycled bottles and plastic otherwise headed to landfill, these Earth-loving sneakers are easygoing yet elegant, confident yet considered—kind of just like your best self.
The retro-inspired shape sits on a lightweight sole, making long days spent on your feet monumentally less tiresome. The gold-tone logo stamp adds an injection of luxe, ensuring whatever your day throws at you, you’ll face it in pure style.
Laid-back luxe: Clean 90 Contrast
Less is more: the Clean 90 Contrast has just proved it. This squeaky-clean sneaker is a multi-tasking master of a shoe: a little casual, a lot chic.
The cheeky hint of metallic at the heel tab propels this sneaker to subtle splendour, while the minimalist silhouette keeps things simple. If your wardrobe is missing the ultimate white sneaker, let the Clean 90 Contrast show you how it’s done.
Retro vibes: Midnight Low
Keeping retro spirit alive, the Midnight Low vintage-style sneaker will have you stepping into relaxed style like nothing else. Made by hand using responsible methods, this eco-friendly sneaker boasts recycled and organic materials—the perfect shoe for the conscious consumer.
The Midnight Low captures the classic low-top style of bygone eras and upgrades it to 21st Century slick. Alongside 100% organic cotton laces (yes, please), you’ll find moulded footbeds for added comfort, making all-day wear an absolute breeze.