15 posts tagged "Jean Touitou"
The A.P.C. wag—and his standard-bearer, brand founder Jean Touitou—is more often than not found in jeans and a tee. (No wonder the label specializes in just-so versions of just those.) But every boy’s gotta man up and throw on a suit now and then, and A.P.C.’s new suit collection is here to help with that.
In fairness, the French label has been making suiting separates since its founding, but they’ve been of a more casual kind, sized on an XS-XL scale and sold finished on the rack—no hemming to fit. With the new line, the suits (in navy, above, black, and gray) come in traditional sartorial sizing, from 44 to 54, and are sold with unfinished hems for perfect sizing. Credit a new factory for the improved production and brave foray into a new category—and, maybe, a new maturity, too.
Jacket, $825, and pants, $235, available now at A.P.C. stores; for locations, visit www.apc.fr.
“There are too many hip kids,” mused A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou on a recent afternoon. “Hip is not a job. It makes me worry about the future.” Touitou, who knows something about hip, was in New York City playing part-time fashion week flaneur; he turned up at the Purple magazine dinner and at the Rodarte after-party for a little fieldwork in professional cool. However that made him feel about the future, Touitou’s more pressing preoccupation these days is with the past. He and his Madras co-designer Jessica Ogden are currently at work on a quilting project (part art exhibition, part retail initiative) for which they dug fabric out of the A.P.C. archives and delivered it to women in India who have been specially trained in the handicraft style of the American South. “My mother was a quilter,” Touitou explained, “and so was Jessica’s mother. We share the obsession.”
Touitou, in fact, has held on to a prize quilt of his mother’s for years: It’s currently in his Paris studio, and, before that, hung in his old band’s practice space. That’s another past era he’s been mining recently. “You can see the quilt in this picture of the band,” he said. There’s the quilt, and there’s young Jean (right), guitar in hand, looking hip (if not professionally so). The photo ended up getting screened on a T-shirt for Fall ’10. “When the printer finished it, he called and said, ‘Your Dylan tee is ready,’ ” Touitou recalled. “He thought I was Dylan! It was the best day of my life.”
Where does the sex kitten lead singer of one of the most critically reviled pop acts of all time go when her band breaks up? Why, to A.P.C., of course. Wendy James was hard on the heels of her first album post-Transvision Vamp when A.P.C. honcho Jean Touitou offered her his recording studio, which he keeps tucked away at A.P.C. headquarters in Paris. “It was just to play around in, really,” explains James. “The album I’d released, I’d worked on with Elvis Costello. It wasn’t mine, exactly. I needed some time to find my footing as a solo artist.” That was about 12 years ago. This spring, James returned to Touitou’s studio (the place where Jarvis Cocker and Wes Anderson recorded the music for The Fabulous Mr. Fox) and laid down the tracks for her forthcoming solo debut, I Came Here to Blow Minds. Here, James gives Style.com an exclusive preview of the song “King Hoodlum” and talks to us about Sonic Youth, Surface 2 Air, and selling T-shirts at Colette.
I Came Here to Blow Minds is the first “Wendy James” album, but since leaving Transvision Vamp, you’ve actually released two LPs under the name Racine. I’ve always been under the impression that Racine No. 1 and Racine 2 were solo projects. Not so?
Well, those albums were all me, certainly. Racine No. 1 came out of my building a studio at my house in London and teaching myself, you know, the technical side of things. Other than the guitar parts, I played every instrument on that album—it wasn’t until I was going on tour that I got a band together. And those folks came along and recorded the second album with me. But this one, I’ve moved on again. I think the name Racine served as a way to separate myself from Transvision Vamp—there’s that thing, when someone goes solo after being in a band that’s had some success, where the legacy of the band kind of trails off after them. Racine was kind of a useful disguise, and a conduit to what I’m doing now, owning up to my name. Sometimes you have to be quite brutal and walk away from everything you’ve previously achieved.
A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou always has some new project cooking, and so it piqued our interest to discover him huddled with photographer Bruce Weber yesterday afternoon. Were the two planning a follow-up edition to A.P.C.’ s three-part, M&M-designed Fall catalog, which features Weber’s shots of, among others, Stella Tennant and Gia Coppola in the throes of stylish autumn languor? “No, we shoot the new ad campaign tomorrow,” said Touitou. “That’s all.” Indeed, a question about the catalog elicited barely more than a shrug, and an observation that A.P.C. had first cast Stella Tennant in a campaign back when she was 17. Not that he wasn’t chatty—it’s just that Touitou prefers to focus on the future. And A.P.C.’s future, he revealed, now includes a perfume. Unisex, 100 percent natural, and called A.P.C. Sustain, the scent emerged from his accidental encounter with Lisa Eisner’s aromatherapist on a recent trip to L.A. Rebuffed by the lady when he asked if A.P.C. could bottle one of her better-smelling oils, Touitou found himself immersed in a perfume development process rather more intimate than he’d expected. “It was like seeing a psychiatrist,” he explained. “She was making me talk about myself, my memories… Finally, I mention that when I was young and romantic, I used to put dead flowers in my guitar case. That became the brief, as they say. Wood, velvet, jasmine, roses…” A sample of Sustain that Touitou happened to have on hand proved accurate to his description. But what’s with the name? “It’s like the sustain pedal you step on when you play guitar, to make a note last. All the experts hate it, so I’m happy.”