Exclusive: A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou On His New Collaboration With Kanye West
The story of the capsule collection—emphasis on capsule: It consists of three T-shirts, three hoodies, and two pairs of jeans—that Kanye West designed for A.P.C. has quickly taken on the tinge of legend. “Over two years ago, a visitor to the A.P.C. studio was announced to me as ‘Kenny’…” begins A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou’s introductory note, which has been republished in full on every Web site from here to eternity. The collection hits A.P.C. stores worldwide this morning. For the occasion, the ever-oracular Touitou spoke with Style.com about his most famous collaborator, the “kingdom of dopeness,” and the only celebrities that truly interest him.
How does Kanye West compare as a collaborator to others you’ve worked with? He is famously particular. Did you have any trepidation about working together?
I just love the guy, so whatever. He could want a piece to be baggy and skinny at the same time… [but] oh well, you just find a way.
This collection has been in the works for two years. It sounds like with this process, the devil was in the details. What has the back and forth on design been like?
The devil was in theoretical discussion, not in details. When you deal with a guy who wants to redesign just about anything so it could fit [into the] kingdom of dopeness, it takes some time to just sit and say, “Okay, agreed, but let’s get start on something limited, and we’ll see.”
Were any pieces tried but ultimately cut from the collection? What was the impetus to keep it so small?
No, once the devil of endless possibility was taken care of, we knew exactly what to do. Even from that condensed structure, we edited some colors and even fabric finishes. You keep it small because you just hit and run. That’s what you do.
In addition to having only a handful of styles, the collection is also being produced in a very limited run. Are you anticipating a quick sell out? Will any pieces be put aside for VIPs or celebrities? Have you been receiving requests?
Production hasn’t been so limited—mind you, sir, we are a small company. I am not anticipating anything. I never do. I am not into the celebrity thing. The only celebrities who impress me are writers. I follow no god, no celeb, no master, no myth.
Is this a collaboration you’d like to see continue? Are there any plans for it to do so?
Seriously, only time will tell.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Fashion killed rock and roll. Fashion killed contemporary art, and turned it vulgar. And if hip-hop artists are not careful it will also kill hip hop.
A.P.C. Kanye hooded sweatshirts ($280), printed T-shirts ($140), short-sleeve hooded sweatshirt ($250), solid T-shirts ($120), and jeans ($265) are available today at A.P.C. stores worldwide. For locations, visit www.apc.fr.