Behind the HYPE: ACRONYM's Endless Search for Technical Innovation

Behind the apparel brand that launched a functional clothing obsession.

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Fashion
18,177 Hypes 11 Comments

Founded by Errolson Hugh and Michaela Sachenbacher, ACRONYM reimagines sports and utility garments with futuristic flair — an M.O. which has captured the attention of not only John Mayer and Travis Scott, but also brands like Stone Island and Nike ACG, which have tapped Hugh for creative consultation.

But despite the brand’s high-profile cosigns, the ACRONYM name still holds water with its cult tech-wear following, who count Hugh and Sachenbacher as guiding inspirations. After over 20 years in business, the Munich-based brand has retained the trust of its wearers — and its mystique. That’s no easy feat.

ACRONYM’s story began in 1994, when Errolson Hugh and Michaela Sachenbacher founded it as an independent design agency in Munich. Hugh and Sachenbacher quickly grew an impressive slate of clients including Burton Snowboards — a partnership which lasted almost 14 years.

KIT-1, ACRONYM’s first collection, released in 2002 and featured a jacket, a bag, a soundtrack, software, catalogs featuring concept art and a few other small items. The collection set the tone for the brand, one infused with the spirit of freedom and self-reliance. Much of this ethos stems from Hugh’s fascination with karate, particularly the dynamism of the karate gi which allows for full range of motion.

“Autonomy is really one of the fundamental tenets of our approach because the whole idea of our fit mechanics is centered around the idea of empowerment,” Errolson told HYPEBEAST. “You want to be physically present as much as you possibly can be. That comes from our martial arts background. We spent an inordinate amount of time removing restrictions and taking away things, adding things to play with the garment. Fundamentally, our stance always starts with the individual.”

ACRONYM has kept its marketing minimal, its ethos consistent and its circle small (Hugh and Sachenbacher were ACRONYM’s only full-time employees until 2009). Their quality-first approach has built a brand people don’t just covet, but trust.

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