Acronym History from Relax Magazine May 2002
I have quite the clothes-crush on Acronym; I own four jackets (down from seven) and an indispensable bag I take with me everywhere. Naturally I’ve become a little obsessive about the brand, and recently I scanned this article from Relax for a friend of mine – it shows an archive of some of Mr. Hugh’s pre-ACR designs for Burton, Recon, and others. Errolson was kind enough to send me the English translation of the article, which I present to you at the bottom after the images. Amazing!
P88:The Assassins from Germany “ACRONYM” introduce;
P89: Munich, the capital of south-east Germany`s Bavaria. Based in Germany`s beer-famous third biggest city, two designers, Errolson Hugh and Michaela Sachenbacher, make up the design unit “ACRONYM”. With clients all over the world, they freely use their original philosophy of design to frequently release new productions. Their background, Germany, is one of the worlds centers of top class creative power and craftsman`s spirit. “ACRONYM`s” completely new imaginative design work, although not yet commonly known, is backed up with great support and is not doubted to rapidly become more frequently under the spot-light. This unit, after a long three years of hard work, have finished their revolutionary products and arrived in Japan. The brand “ACRONYM`s” first box-set “ACRONYM FIRST EDITION” is a combination of great ideas and technology. Jackets and bags, CD, software and conceptual art books; it even contains a “how-to-wear” book for all the multi-functions. As the designs are far off from the general idea of clothes, it has been predicted that along with its release, a world-wide wave of popularity will be seen. There exists only 120 of them in the world and they are about to be simultaneously released in Tokyo, London and NY. Now RELAX will first introduce these products which are bathing under such great attention. Of corse these ideas will shock the general public, but even creators of other companies will be leaping with surprise. From this moment onwards “ACRONYM`s” name will stir up the world.
P90: Multi functional art pieces combined with modern technology; “ACRONYM FIRST EDITION.”
(top right) This set comes with 2 CD`s. One is “ACRONYM FIRST EDITION`s” image sound track made by LARS “THE BUGBREEDER” KORB, who is Errolson`s friend and currently lives in Munich. The artwork has been drawn by another of Errolson`s friends from Canada, the comic artist STEPHEN PLATT. The other is software for Window`s interface, created by Errolson`s younger brother, HARLAN HUGH (THEBRAIN). Real software from the government and defence systems have been remixed by STASH`s graphics. Additionally it contains an art book and a “how-to-wear” photo manual.
(Middle) The outside of the box looks like this. For some reason there is a special space to place a wooden sword (The sword is not included in the set.). The original idea was imaged from the monk image character which holds a sword. This mixture of different cultures is another of “ACRONYM`s” special characteristic.
(Main text) One of the box-set`s main items is “ACRONYM`s” most proudly introduced “FULL MENTAL JACKET”. It is made out of GPS-2, the best Gore-Tex PacLite material, resistant to any severe weather conditions. Even the fastener alone has been thought out with great care. Parts produced by makers from Osaka, Italy, and Canada have been put together in an extraordinary way by Canadian technology. The rubber on the sleeve cuffs have been carefully selected from different industrial product manufacturers for the ideal strength and flexibility. The almost uncountable amount of pockets is one of “ACRONYM`s” special characteristics. Carefully planned out for the many MP3, MD, and CD player listeners during urban use, on the collar there is a place to fix earphones to by a magnet when not in use (a patented idea). The jacket can compactly fold up and be placed in a bag. In the case of sudden rainfall or change in the weather conditions, the jacket can be simply flipped back open again with one hand. The graphic logo in the interior of the jacket has been designed by STASH. This amazing combination of style and many practical functions is sure to gain attention as the first of a new generation of jackets for the near future.
Another main item is this bag, the “3RD ARM”. There is a special episode behind the creation of this item. One day, Errolson visited the warehouse of his friend who makes army equipment. He found about 100 fastener pieces which had been provided for the GSG-9 (German military arm-force), but had been cancelled due to the small noise they made while unfastening. These pieces have now been used for these bags. Other parts have also been taken from the army warehouse making the bag very stabile and long-lasting. The adjustment of the straps and opening of the pockets are quick release mechanisms and can be done with one hand only, corresponding to the military`s quick movement. From the pocket of the diagonally placed shoulder strap, it is easy to remove a special jacket which has a fastener running along the sides of the waist. Even when wearing the jacket over the bag, by opening this fastener, the bag will conveniently pop out. They call this systematic pattern of movement “ACRONINJUTSU”. The basic MILSPEC method and refined design makes this a long lasting superb bag. Due to the change of the prototype seven times, the perfectionism of the two “ACRONYM” designers is hard to avoid noticing.
(Title) The original “ACRONYM” designs, which Munich`s environment gave birth to.
(Text) Michaela Sachenbacher from Germany and Errolson Hugh from Canada are at the same time a couple and working partners. After both graduating the university of Toronto, Canada, they moved to Munich, Germany, and constructed the studio “ACRONYM”. This was the start of their design business. First of all we asked them about the roots of their name…
“ “ACRONYM” is a word or name formed from the initial letters of other words. It is somewhat like a symbol for the evolution and development of new products.” (Errolson)
There are two sides to “ACRONYM”. One is “ACRONYM GbR ( = partnership)”. This is a design agency which accepts jobs from outside clients. The other is “ACRONYM GmbH ( = Corporation)”, responsible for the work of their own brand. In this way, they have sensibly separated and thought out their production design in two directions. The GbR, as we have introduced on the next page, designs all sorts of products like outdoor-wear, back-packs and shoes with makers like Burton Snowboards, Recon / Subware, Arc`Teryx Mountain Equipment and Gravis. Especially with Burton`s alternative brand, Analog, a completely new approach to snowboard wear has been established as never seen before, calling up major attention. In fact, the fact that they are based in Munich, Germany, draws the most attention. When the reality is that they presently have no clients in Germany, why do they stick to Munich?
“In Germany, rather than the price and style, the quality of the products is the most important factor. The influence from the German “Bauhaus” is immense, affecting all artistic, multi-functional and engineering areas. Different to other countries, where new products are always being desired, Germany looks for the “correctness”. This certain artistic engineering is a very crucial part of our products, making this environment ideal. As Germany is bang in the centre of Europe, traveling is quite easy too.” (Errolson)
“Actually, we did used to have an office in Los Angeles but it did not last long. Somehow we decided that Munich is the best because it is kind of neutral and there is no unnecessary news which could distract us.” (Michaela)
Listening to this, it now seems clearer how their products originate. Stylish and at the same time multi-functional… and they are not just useful functions but with such rich designs. Rather than a design unit we could almost call them a laboratory. The result of this mentality is “ACRONYM GmbH”. After three years of hard work and dedication, carefully chosen material from the best quality technology and parts, not to forget the volunteering and hard work of internationally gifted creators, created these top quality jackets and bags, which are superb art pieces.
(Middle title): The special characteristics of “ACRONYM`s” design unit, which HF acknowledges.
Between Hiroshi Fujiwara and “ACRONYM” there is one jacket, which has created their trustworthy relationship. This is the “Q Jacket” (p93) created by Analogue (Burton) and Electric Cottage.
HF: “ ”Q Jacket” originally came from a certain Anime-comic character. The idea was taken from the way that all sorts of decorations appeared when he dramatically opened his jacket.”
Errolson (from now on referred to as E.): “We put a lot of interior pockets in the chest area and made them not visible from the outside.”
HR: “Yes, although it turned out a bit differently from the original idea (he laughs). I knew about the box-set ever since you had the idea. How many were made altogether?”
E: “120 sets.”
HR: “What colours are the jackets?”
E: “There are two types, ash and dark-grey.”
HR: “What material is this bag made out of?”
E: “I found a company which creates German military equipment called KHS and I asked them to make the bags.”
HR: “The Gore-tex used in the jackets are special too, aren`t they?”
E: “Well, the material is called Gore-tex Paclite and it is extremely lightweight and packs down very small. Our jacket also reaches the GPS-2 rating, which means the highest possible Gore-tex waterproof rating. This material is resistant to practically any extreme weather conditions and it took a whole four months to receive the license for it.”
Michaela (from now on referred to as M.): “The funny thing is that when the people from the Gore-tex company saw this special attachment area to place earphones, they exclaimed that normally no one would ever go into such detail and imagine to specially make such a thing!”
E: “This thin and light material used for the fastener and sleeve-cuff area is used for F1 racer suits, created by a small company in Osaka. Even one fastener like this one contains technology from makers all over the world.”
HF: “The two of you spent three years to create this, but during this time were you ever scared of other companies copying you or stealing your ideas?”
E: “We are confident in making really rare and good products and so we are not scared about those sort of things. We believe that our creativity is impossible to copy. We researched for patents and are currently applying for several.”
HF: “And, after so much time and hard work into creating your products, what price are you imagining to sell them for (laughing)?”
M: “ Oh, that`s a good question (laughing).”
E: “We received so much help from other creators such as STASH and illustrations from Steve but we haven`t paid them… If we did, we would never have got the products finished. The main thing is that we all enjoyed the concept. This is our own art-project which we want to make into reality and so we are not fussed about making a profit. As this is our first production our aim is to give the consumer the best quality possible, like Porsche does for example.”
HF: “So, this means that you would like to keep up the high level?”
E: “That`s right. We would like to make the products the best way we possibly can.”
TACTICIAN JACKET: The flap on the back and magic tape on the sleeves can be pulled out.
TRENCH SHIRT:The pocket is fastened by a magnet.
DIPTYCH JACKET(S):When opening, 5 pockets are revealed.
Title(middle): Look at the attack of the amazing gimmicks in their work!
ASSAULT JKT:The diagonal pockets in the pants are excellent.
ZEON JKT: This corresponding to music and snow. Purely “Zeon”.
1-PIECE SUIT:The collar can be worn with big volume.
AK CONTINUUM JKT: This makes lift tickets, cigarette and lighters easy to use.
NBCI JACKET: Even this single sleeved pocket has so many functions.
This ruck-sack`s fasteners are from the military warehouse, mentioned earlier.
Q-JACKET: This was made with HF. It may look like a simple jacket, but when opening the fasteners and tucking in the flaps, so many pockets are revealed. The pockets are easy to use.
AK 3L JKT: Along with this simplicity there is detailed fastener-work.
AK 3L VENT PNT:Different colour to the left.
(title) Here is a short introduction of Burton`s newest products.
CLONE JKT, IMPERIUM PNT: A futuristic space aged design. The hood can be pulled out and the interior pockets are so detailed! The air way patches and leg support pads are amazing. The multiple-functions and designs are so 21st century.
MANDALORE JKT, BLASHTECH PNT:When folding the sleeve cuffs, suddenly multi-functional pockets appear. The lift ticket can be placed in a transparent pocket. The pants have so many pockets, but the fasteners are such high quality that there is no need to worry about anything falling out.
P94: (Title) There is only 120 “ACRONYM FIRST EDITION`s” in the world, a great collaboration of internationally gifted creators.
STASH – Visual Maintenance.
Due to the request from the two from “ACRONYM”, STASH worked on the main logo, “FULL MENTAL JACKET” and “3RD ARM” bag. Here I will introduce comments from STASH himself about Errolson and about this project seen through the eyes of a graphic designer.
“I was introduced to Errolson through Greg from Burton and was amazed by his great sense of finding such a talented person like Errolson. One day, Errolson rang me and set me e-mails from Germany about the box-set idea. As a result, I managed to fulfill my role perfectly. I was surprised that the graphics I made matched it so well. I heard about the concept without seeing the real thing and from there I created a number of images. I am thrilled about the outcome and am so happy to take part in such a unique project. Errolson is filled with talent, very dedicated towards his work and is a really “nice” person.”
KHS – Tactical Equipment
The company KHS which worked on the “3RD ARM” bag actually creates Germany`s original military equipment. There is a sense of German craft-work in these products, with are stable with a modern style. This technology and know-how is blended into “ACRONYM`s” bags. The staff is made up of people with real military experience, giving a lot of advice into the creation of this bag. This professional experience data has given a lot of feed back and these bags could really be used by the military. As they are based in Germany, this product could purely only be made by “ACRONYM”.
UM/BRUCH (HASSAN MUELHAUPT)
Out of the two CDS, Germany based Hassan Muelhaupt produced the graphic and second manual for “THEBRAIN” and also helped in the creation of “ACRONYM`s” original logo. Normally working on architectural and interior design, the CD`s visual remix has an architectural touch hidden within it. This remix sensation is, yet again, one of “ACRONYM`s” special characteristics.
ZEICHENWEG TM (MARC BUHRE)
Based in Germany, Marc Buhre from the design unit ZEICHENWEG TM worked on the box design which contains all the products. Going into all the detail of the shape and using cool graphics, he is one of the most crucial creators of the “ACRONYM FIRST EDITION”. The neat, well regulated layout of the storage box is worth noticing.
STEPHAN PLATT (“MONK” Character Design and Illustration)
A good friend of Errolson since Canada, Stephan Platt is a comic artist from LA. The current image character the “MONK” (Monk is apparently the origin of “Munich”) has an Asian touch to it. He also worked on “BUG BREEDER`s” CD jacket illustration and the illustration on the box`s manual.
He is very active in the American Comic world, using high level detail. This delicate pencil work has made him a top selling artist. His cover-art and pencil work is centered in “Marvel Comics”. In his own studio “Stormworks”, he has produced many titles such as “SoulSaga” and “E.V.E”. Most recently he worked on the costume design for George Michael`s music video for a few hundred million dollars. In this way, he is highly talented in many area`s. Errolson is a mega fan of comics and so this collaboration with his friend must have occurred naturally.
THEBRAIN (HARLAN HUGH) – software
Based in Santa Monica, LA, “THEBRAIN” is a high-tech company which creates American government and defense system software. Harlan Hugh, the chief of “THEBRAIN” is also Errolson`s younger brother. This time real interface software from the company has been remixed with STASH`s graphics, something which has never happened before. This completely new computer technology is one of the box-set`s charms.
The material used for the jackets is called “PacLite”, highly water and damp resistant. While being highly advantageous, Gore-Tex material is very light and compact. It is very rare that such a small scaled company as “ACRONYM” has received a license for such highly ranked material like GPS-2. This simply proves that “ACRONYM`s” great abilities have been recognized and accepted by large scaled company like Gore-Tex.
INSECT LABORATORY (LARS KORB)
“BUG BREEDER`s” Lars Korb living in Munich, has created the “ACRONYM FIRST EDITION” image soundtrack. Using digital sounds, the tracks are imaged around a battle between Stephen Platt`s “MONK” and “BUG BREEDER”. This type of music is a crucial means for spreading “ACRONYM`s” name widely around the world. The cool jacket design is also worth noticing.
(Title, right) We definitely recommend “ACRONYM”.
GREG DACYSHYN – BURTON SNOWBOARDS
“Errolson is a designer with an indescribable amount of talent. He thinks out tiny details and functions, which no one else would ever imagine. I don`t know anyone else who loves their job so much as he does and he is the best designer I have ever met. Burton`s Analog-line was originally started to create clothes which are not bound to just snowboard-ware. Even here, Errolson shows his uncommon talent. I think the “ACRONYM” jackets are jumping over the boundaries of clothes and could almost be art pieces.”
HIROKI NAKAMURA- VISVIM
“I realised, while hanging out with him, that Errolson is always thinking deeply about something. I was really surprised when I first saw the “ACRONYM” jackets. I have asked him to design some things for my shoe brand “VISVIM” and am very excited for the results.”
YOSHIHUMI “YOK” EGAWA – realmadHECTIC
“I can`t explain how great this box set is (laughing). But you will all understand how I feel when you see it. I could never make anything so perfect (laughing). The good thing about “ACRONYM” is how fashion and multi-functions are combined. RECON is planning to use the products, so look forward to it.”
TET – (W-TAPS)
“I think that Errolson is quite strict towards himself and therefore manages to organize “ACRONYM” so successfully. The way he thinks is quite similar to myself and so I can understand his feelings well. It`s the first time I have ever seen anyone foreign create such high quality products. I can feel that a group of people with a warm heart have been collaborating together here.