Over its 23 years of life, Berlin-based techwear label ACRONYM has grown from best-kept secret into genre-defining phenomenon. Whether it was the Nike collabs, John Mayer co-signs, or the power of an idea whose time has come, the brand’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection (releasing this Wednesday) promises to be its most sought-after yet.
However, no amount of hype could possibly diffuse the pure intrigue surrounding the brand and its cutting-edge apparel. Case in point: when the collection released for preview earlier this week, fans were greeted with product descriptions that seemed made of equal parts poetry and confusion. Whereas past seasons’ teasers discussed GORE-TEX and inspirations, products releasing Wednesday were described by lyrics to songs.
Whether a peek behind the curtain at the ACRONYM team’s inspirations or just Errolson Hugh’s recent favorites, the music featured is a moody industrial soundtrack into which the brand’s latest collection feels right at home. We broke down every lyrical reference in the products below.
J16-GT Hardshell Jacket
Lyric: “An reckon an intentional wreck. Played off as some intellect. Made the call, took the fall, broke the laws. Not my fault that they’re fallin’ off. Known as fair square throughout my years. So I growl at the livin’ foul. Black to the bone my home is your home. But welcome to the Terrordome.”
A reinvention of ACRONYM’s classic FW08 jacket, the latest version of the J16-GT now features GORE-TEX Pro construction throughout. While it’s not quite body armor, this waterproof jacket will have you covered for whatever severe weather the Terrordome can throw at you.
Song: Public Enemy – Welcome to the Terrordome
J28-GT Hardshell Jacket
Lyric: “The sun went down and the ground started sort of grinding. A blinding light tore across the sky. A cyclone swept the landscape and left it completely flattened out. And several twirls of smoke unfolded like gigantic flowers. The way the morning broke was quite unusual.”
One of the brand’s iconic pieces returns in GORE-TEX Pro. The song, “Quite Unusual” by Belgian electronic Front 242, features lyrics about natural disasters and the beauty of destruction. Quite fitting for a jacket that could survive the apocalypse.
Song: Front 242 – Quite Unusual
J61-GT Hardshell Jacket
Lyric: “His head is not his memory. Visions coming, one, two, three. Trickle up, trickle down. Wearily, we come unwound. In hard times, hard thrills. Reaching for the chosen pills. Dragnets will pull you in. Tell you that you’re deep in sin. Sensoria, sensoria, sensoria, sensoria.”
After a lightweight J61-WS joined the brand’s Spring 2017 line, ACRONYM’s full-length Interops parka appears in GORE-TEX Pro for the first time. “Sensoria,” by British experimental rock band Cabaret Voltaire, is a perfect companion for a jacket designed to shield all from exposure.
Song: Cabaret Voltaire – Sensoria
J56-S HD Gabardine Jacket
Lyric: “It’s not safe to go out, it’s not right to stay home. He said, ‘My advice, is to carry a gun’. It’s not right to leave everyone wondering how. He said, ‘If you’re gonna drop it, then drop it now.’”
A modernized take on the four-pocket military field jacket is joined by Cabaret Voltaire’s “Don’t Argue,” their second appearance in the collection. Whether advice or a warning, this slick lightshell just looks badass.
Song: Cabaret Voltaire – Don’t Argue
J62-S HD Gabardine Coat
Lyric: “Hot lines under a rain of drums. Cigarette props in action. Dialogue dub, now here’s the rub. She’s acting her reaction.”
The sleekest piece in the collection, the J62-S is a three-quarter length parka cut from Swiss lightshell fabric and pared back to its most minimal form. Behind it all lies the droning, neo-noir “She’s in Parties” by English post-punk rockers Bauhaus. Do yourself a favor and watch the video below—it’s likely no coincidence the protagonists are draped in longline coats.
Song: Bauhaus – She’s In Parties
J64TS-S HD Modular Liner Jacket
Lyric: “You come to me like a moth to the flame. It’s love you need but I don’t play that game. You kept on coming, you should have ran. I’m nobody’s friend. I’m a demolition man.”
A purpose-built liner jacket is rigged with rows of ACRONYM’s TEC SYS webbing, lending the J64TS-S (say that ten times fast) a distinctly military vibe. Similar in form to last season’s standout J1TS-S coat, this liner makes a cold weather callback to one of the brand’s most explosive designs. Speaking of military explosives: “Demolition Man.”
Song: Sting – Demolition Man
P23A-DS Dryskin Cargo Pants
Lyric: “Are you able to follow the Red Team? I live in a world of paradox. My willingness to destroy is your chance for improvement. My hate is your faith. My failure is your victory. A victory that won’t last. A victory that won’t last.”
Extra-wide, drawcord trousers fitted with a drop crotch and removable cargo pockets. If that’s not enough, they’re also made of Schoeller’s remarkable DrySkin fabric, the arguable gold standard of softshell material. Stretchable, loose, and crammed with tech, these are pants designed for action. Are you able to follow the Red Team?
Song: Front 242 – Red Team
J58-WS Windstopper Modular Liner Jacket
Lyric: “I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened and read it, and said they were suckers. They wanted me for their army or whatever. Picture me giving a damn, I said never. Here is a land that never gave a damn about a brother like me and myself because they never did. I wasn’t with it but just that very minute it occurred to me. The suckers had authority.”
A bomber-inspired liner jacket lends a distinctly punk vibe to this otherwise dystopian collection. While designed as an insulator to fit under ACRONYM shells, the J58-WS has enough weather-resistant tech (CLIMASHIELD insulation; WINDSTOPPER face fabric) to be knockout outerwear on its own. “Black Steel,” off the debut album of English rapper Tricky, is the anti-authoritarian anthem every black bomber channels.
Song: Tricky – Black Steel
J65-WS Windstopper Climashield Modular Liner Vest
Lyric: “His eyes were heavy. He carried a card. One couple question, the other discharged. Terror couple kill colonel in his West German home. Three shots from three feet. Dragged himself to the phone. Terror couple kill colonel… In his West German home…”
One of the most eye-catching pieces in the entire collection, the J56-WS is a short sleeve liner “vest” more akin to an insulated t-shirt than a true midlayer. An equally eclectic track by Bauhaus – this time, detailing a terrorist attack by the Red Army Faction in ACRONYM’s native Germany—pulses in the background.
Song: Bauhaus – Terror Couple Kill Colonel
NG7-AM Silk Mesh Neck Gaiter
Lyric: “Come. Fly the teeth of the wind. Share my wings.”
Moody, atmospheric synths. Pulsing drums. A formfitting neck gaiter equal parts scarf and disguise. Come. Fly the teeth of the wind. Share my wings.
Song: Future Sound of London – Dirty Shadows
NG7-PS PowerStretch Neck Gaiter
Lyric: “To the center of the city where all roads meet, waiting for you. To the depths of the ocean where all hopes sank, searching for you. I was moving through the silence without motion, waiting for you.”
An alternative to the Silk Mesh Neck Gaiter, rendered from Polartec’s PowerStretch performance fabric yet no less able to conceal. It provides a different kind of “shadowplay.”
Song: Joy Division – Shadowplay
S-18K Cashllama Long Sleeve T-shirt
Lyric: “Walking down the street, kicking cans. Looking at the Billboard, oh so bland. Summing up the people, checking out the race. Doing what I’m doing, feeling out of place. Walking. Walking, in the rain.”
A Bolivian-made long sleeve t-shirt rounds out the collection. For a line that has staked its claim on weatherproof performance and mysterious aesthetics, Flash and the Pan’s “Walking in the Rain” seems as foundational as the base layer it describes. The video, released in 1979, is truly ahead of its time.
Song: Flash and the Pan – Walking In the Rain
SM1-AM Silk Mesh Shemagh
Lyric: “Today he has no means. He’s alone and anonymous. But written in his cells, he’s got the marks of a genius. I’m looking for this man to sell him to another man. To sell him to another man at ten times his price at least.”
ACRONYM’s take on the shemagh, a traditional bedouin scarf that has gained military connotations in the West through images of Mujahideen fighters in the 80’s and American SOCOM operators today. Even in one of the strongest ACRONYM collections to date, this is sure to become an iconic piece. One watch of Front 242’s cyberpunk “Headhunter” video, and this tactical accessory will be your next hunt, too.
Song: Front 242 – Headhunter
Now feast your eyes on more awesome techwear from Errolson Hugh in the latest Stone Island Shadow Project campaign.
- Words: Alex Rakestraw