For Axel Arigato, the new Midnight Low is more than a shoe — it’s a statement. Crafted by hand from 100% recycled cotton right here in Europe, the shoe represents both the brand’s commitment to consistently stylish looks and a responsibility to the planet. Every part of this chic trainer sends a message — and to better deliver that message, the brand brought on a few talented voices to star in the campaign.
Viral Gen Z tastemaker Gully Guy Leo joins breakout British singer/songwriter Ama Lou for a delightfully chaotic display, all under the guidance of noted Nabimian-German creative Max Siedentopf. With a touch of nostalgia and a strong sense of humour, Siedentopf, Lou and Leo showcase the shoe and all its eight colourways in rich, irreverent light, making for a memorable introduction to this new classic.
To celebrate the release of the Midnight Low — available right now on Axel Arigato’s website — Schön! sat down for a conversation between Axel Arigato Creative Director Max Svärdh and campaign star Gully Guy Leo to talk about sustainability, the campaign shoot and more.
Introduce us to your collaboration, Max and Leo. What drew you two to each other for this collaboration?
M: Leo has been on my radar for some time and we’ve been brainstorming how to work with him. So when I was designing the Midnight Low sneaker, the idea sprang in my mind that he’d be perfect for the campaign.
L: I’ve been a massive fan of Axel Arigato for a while now. I remember seeing their flagship store in London and being so amazed by the insane design. I was super hyped when Max had chosen me to be in the Midnight Low campaign, and the shoe itself is something I could definitely see myself rocking, and will be in the future!
Where do you think a brand like Axel Arigato fits in in the growing landscape of sneakers and footwear?
M: An open-minded attitude, combined with a deep understanding of our customer and consistent product innovation, have served the brand well. Moving forward, as a brand we recognise that customers want more than just quality design; they actively seek products which align with their own personal values. With a focus on environmental responsibility, we will continue to work hard on the development of sustainable footwear.
L: For me, Axel Arigato hits the nail on the head with balancing sneakers that are fashionable and trend-fitting but also very easy to wear to the masses. Their diversity of colourways and silhouettes with every style they do means every shoe is not only very easy to wear but also looks sick at the same time.
Max, the shoe is also sourced sustainably. Can you tell us more about that process?
M: The sneaker is made by hand in Europe with the original autoclave construction which ultimately minimizes waste and makes each pair unique. The upper is made from 100% organic cotton, lining in natural (non-bleached or dyed) organic cotton and laces in organic cotton.
Why is the sustainability of the shoe important to its release?
M: Working with and for the planet is an important part of everything we do on a daily basis, and the ultimate goal is to continue to grow in a sustainable way. It’s a never-ending journey and we’re committed to it.
Why is bringing in new voices like Leo important to the development of the brand?
M: It’s important because Leo represents our customer and the next generation of customers. He represents free expression and new ideas.
Leo, what inspired you about working with Axel Arigato?
L: It was inspiring to see how quickly the Axel team worked. I am, myself, a very sporadic person and am always jumping around the place trying to keep active, and whilst shooting with them, this was luckily also the case.
How did the campaign shoot go? What was running around the house location like?
L: The campaign was extremely fun. Everybody on set was excited and had a great work ethic. Shooting in that house was definitely refreshing, as it meant I could really get creative with the photographer and not just stand in front of a white backdrop all day.
What excites you both about the future of Axel Arigato?
M: Just how endless the possibilities are; new store openings globally, new launches and product innovations. More Axel Arigato to more people. The energy we had at the very beginning is still there.
L: Axel is a very environmentally friendly brand and this is of course, with all current world affairs, very important. It’s exciting that Axel is pushing this, and I think the future of their silhouettes is bright.
photography. Max Siedentopf
videography. Asafe Ghalib
fashion. Kyanisha Morgan
models. Gully Guy Leo, Ama Lou, Clem @ Anti-Agency, Ralph @ Anti-Agency
hair. April Christina Taylor
make up. Phoebe Walters