the issue > Style > April 22, 2021
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THE HOUSE OF AKRIS AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE SPRING/ SUMMER 2021 COLLECTION

Founded in 1922 by Alice Kriemler-Schoch, the House of Akris has grown into an international symbol of understated luxury. Based in St. Gallen, Switzerland, Akris remains a family business, with multiple generations nurturing and crafting the house. Today, Kriemler-Schoch’s grandson Albert Kriemler is creative director. He’s been head of design since the age of 19.

Kriemler believes the purpose of fashion is to make a woman’s life less complicated, while enhancing her natural beauty and grace. You can see how he embraces this belief in his clothing, emphasizing the woman wearing the collection rather than hiding her behind an ensemble.

Outside of fashion, one of Kriemler’s passions is art, and he often collaborates with artists on his collections. He’s previously worked with influential artists such as Carmen Herrera, Geta Brătescu, Rodney Graham, and Thomas Ruff.

The spring/summer 2021 collection is another collaboration. Kriemler worked with Imi Knoebel, a minimalist, abstract artist based in Germany. Knoebel’s most significant commission to date is the nine large, stained-glass windows for the Cathedral of Notre Dame at Reims. For this, he was awarded the Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2016 in recognition of his Franco-German reconciliation work. Knoebel’s artwork is on display in prominent museum collections, including MoMA, The Broad, Musée National d’Art Moderne, and Centre Pompidou.

Knoebel’s love of color and letting the work speak for itself is what attracted Kriemler to his pieces. Kriemler fondly remembers seeing a Knoebel for the first time in 2004. “It was Face 50, an arrangement of orange, lime yellow, turquoise, and light blue aluminum sticks brilliantly composed by Knoebel. His extraordinary sense for colors and their inherent differences stunned me. He lets color shine,” says Kriemler.

The two met in 2017, when they discussed their appreciation and love of color. Fast-forward to 2019, when Kriemler visited Knoebel’s studio and saw his array of 700 color swatches. It was at this point the two started first discussing a collaboration.

As discussions continued, the two artists were well underway on a collaboration for one of Akris’ collections. However, the pandemic changed everything. The circumstances of 2020 allowed Kriemler to spend time in his studio daily, which made the design process an endless stream of joy and inspiration. The goal for the collection was to bring ease, fluidity of movement, and a new feel of freedom to the Akris woman with a recharged energy in vibrant colors. Kriemler wished to inspire his customer to pursue her purpose and dreams.

The collection features Kinderstern, one of Knoebel’s pieces, as a significant motif. It appears on blouses, cardigans, handbags, handbag charms, and scarves. Other Knoebel pieces included in the collection are Ohayo, Zion, Tiger Woods, and Blue Angel. These paintings also serve as the backdrop for the collection’s ad campaign, which was photographed in Switzerland. With every creative aspect taken into account, the overall vision Kriemler brought to the brand is unmistakable.

Experience this beautiful spring/summer collection now at Highland Park Village: Visit Akris at 43A Highland Park Village.