Errolson Hugh is somewhat of an enigmatic character. His rearing by architect parents combined with an obsession with martial arts is ultimately what led to the realisation of his cult label Acronym. While training Hugh noticed how the traditional garb worn by martial artists - a 'gee' - allowed him to move so freely, not restricting any range of motion necessary to complete the moves. Hugh wanted this feeling of freedom to exist throughout his wardrobe, not just in his martial arts training uniform. He set out to create clothing that reflected his utilitarian requirements, yet did so in a way that was aesthetically challenging - albeit in subtle ways.
The first Acronym product release to see the light of day was actually a full kit that included a jacket, a bag, and even a soundtrack amongst other various accoutrement. It’s clear that from the outset that acronym is not only selling some incredibly well thought out and executed garments, but also the desire to create some sort of all encapsulating lifestyle appeal. This desire to create something that extends beyond the physical product and extend into the users' everyday life is certainly seen in the customers of Acronym. It is not uncommon to see a patron of the label wearing a full outfit, walking down the streets resembling something akin to an anime ninja decked out in weatherproof, anatomically cut clothing; a full Acronym fit truly creates a striking silhouette. The cultish appeal of the brand to it’s consumers is not unlike that of avant grade designer Rick Owens whose ‘followers’ as they could be referred to at an extent are usually seen draped head to toe in the designers recognisable designs, identifiable usually by hallmarks only noticed by those in the know. The similarities between appeal is apparent, and in some ways Hugh seems to have even taken note of some of Owens trademark designs as part of Acronyms' ss17 collection.
Now it can be argued that Rick Owens obviously drew influence from other sources, for instance the iconic drop crotch trousers obviously contain the DNA of traditional hareem pants taken to an extreme, so this isn't a sizeable point of contention. However upon seeing Acronyms' use of a full zip-up hoodie, eerily similar to that of Owens iconic ‘gimp’ hoodie one begins to wonder whether Hugh is respectfully nodding to a trailblazer of the avant grade fashion world, or simply producing very similar garments with no sense of respect. There certainly isn't anything playful or ironic about Acronym’s designs. Quite the contrary, they are harsh, intimidating cuts of clothing.
This musing aside, this collection from Acronym is much of the same we have come to expect from the brand. There has obviously been great care poured over the construction of the outerwear pieces, with returning stalwarts such as the J46 ever-present, however this spring iteration losing the wadded down fill for a lighter summer weight. In terms of the other jackets on offer, the obviously highlight is the two-tone J1 jacket completed in olive and black. Visually slightly more interesting than the full black iteration due to the way in which the two colours are split to highlight seams and silhouette of the garment, it is in typical acronym style adorned with all the pockets and zips one could ever dream up, as well as sporting cult acronym details such as the sought after 'gravity pocket' feature and the 'sling' system used to carry the jacket as a bag. Another obvious talking point as previously mentioned is the aggressively composed drop crotch jersey trousers - one for the real die hard urban ninja types. Outside of these highlights, the collection is rounded out by other Acronym staples such as functional cargo trousers in both slim an wide cuts, some lightweight jersey tees and what looks to be a very sleek and well tailored viscose shirt with a mandarin collar.
In summary, Acronym is recognised as an avant grade outerwear focused label known for boundary pushing technical garments that look the part, however this collection seemed to be lacking that edge in most items apart from one striking trouser. Even highlighted details such as the mag lock headphone holder isn't that impressive anymore - we've seen this all before. If nothing else, Acronym is consistently providing incredibly functional garments that are bit of a change from comparable bands such as the minimalist yet similarly technical offerings from Arcteryx Veilance, or other indy offerings from sporty tech-wear brand Isaora. That being said - is 'a bit' of a change enough to maintain the reputation they've garnered as vanguards of the tech wear fashion market? Despite this, Acronym will unanimously sell out - everywhere.