The Shirts

Tangled Up In Snowdon Blue

“You don’t have a green shirt, white is too bright, black too funeral and I like blue.”
– Lord Snowdon

Acne, the forward-thinking Swedish fashion brand, and Lord Snowdon, one of England’s most distinguished photographers, are not, at first glance, the most obvious bedfellows. Yet their brilliant new collaboration—Snowdon Blue—proves that the most creative partnerships are often the most unexpected.

Lord Snowdon, whose career as a professional photographer began in 1951—and who married Princess Margaret in 1960—is best known for his portraiture work. He has snapped everyone from the Queen to David Bowie; and his trademark is the blue shirt he asks his subjects to wear.

“The blue shirt is anonymous and yet kind of a uniform,” he says. “It is like a simple backdrop that leaves us to focus on the sitter’s face without being distracted.”

Inspired by the variety of blue shirts in Snowdon’s portraits, many of which belong to the photographer himself, Acne Studios designed a limited collection of eight blue button-downs, which are now available at Barneys New York.

“A classic button down shirt lives in both a man and woman’s closet forever, ” says Tomoko Ogura, Barneys’ Senior Fashion Director. “Fashion influencer Acne and iconic British photographer Lord Snowdon came together on this notion not only to create a shirt you will wear endlessly but one that has a unique story and heritage. We are so excited to share their story at Barneys.”

This story is also told in a limited-edition book—also available at Barneys New York—that showcases Snowdon’s use of blue in 61 portraits taken throughout his career. Below are eight portraits Snowdon created specifically for this collaboration, along with a short film of the photographer in his Kensington studio.

For the art lover and the fashion lover—which are usually one and the same—this is a not-to-be-missed collaboration.

— The Portraits —

— The Film —

— The Book —