19 posts tagged "Jean Touitou"
Collaboration fatigue is an affliction that’s been making the rounds among fashion folk for some time. But the collection that ex-Azzaro designer Vanessa Seward has done for A.P.C. is quite darling enough to pierce the haze. For starters, there’s the happily un-corporate, très A.P.C. way it came together. “We’ve all known each other for quite some time. Then Vanessa, how do you say, had some free time, and the will to do something with us. That was it,” explained A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou, in his usual puckish manner, at the label’s Left Bank showroom a couple days ago.
But mostly there’s the clothes, which take A.P.C.’s essential nature and give it a pretty upgrade in couture fabrics, some from the archive of storied Swiss mill Abraham. The bronze-y gold lamé, however, is a new version that’s far less itchy than the old stuff, and thanks to Touitou’s knack for navigating production, the prices are still right. A sweet pale golden jacquard lamé dress tops the line out at around $700, while a pair of hot pants in the same fabric rings in at around $325. In the navy and red floral silk, the frill-necked dress is about $590, while a flippy skirt is about $400. The capsule is tightly edited, but these seem like clothes that you can wear for seasons to come without feeling like you’re in that piece. Getting your hands on them is another issue. At least A.P.C.’s new West Village store is finally open, after a few landmark-driven delays—another place to line up.
Having made his name on some of the planet’s best jeans, A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou is expanding into the glamour business. In December, he tapped former Azzaro designer Vanessa Seward for a capsule collection of high-end womenswear that the two will debut in Paris during the upcoming fashion week. All this as he continues to expand his global retail empire: He was in New York last week to preside over the opening of his third NYC store, in the West Village, before jetting to L.A. to continue his search for space. At A.P.C.’s Soho showroom, Touitou sat down with Style.com to discuss the things he won’t do (red-carpet dressing, celebrity shilling, open in Abu Dhabi), the things he will (keep his clothes largely logo-free), and why everybody should stop dressing like a rock star already.
A.P.C.’s West Village store is open now at 267 W. 4th St., NYC, (212) 755-2523.
During Paris fashion week, you’ll show your upcoming capsule collection with Vanessa Seward. Will it be an ongoing collaboration?
We’ve been thinking about it a lot. It’s a lot of work, and it’s too [much] for us. So I’m really happy I did that, but I think it’s going to be one thing. I might have the will to do more, to ask my studio to do more—it’s delicate—feminine pieces. Because our trademark for women is a bit of frigidity of design. Don’t get me wrong—it’s an idea of frigidity.
It’s a strictness.
It’s a strictness, which I believe is sexy, but you might want to play with sexiness in a different way, like the way we did with Vanessa. And maybe when it’s over, maybe we’ll continue to have some dresses like this. Continue Reading “The Dos And Don’ts of A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou” »
“It was time to go east,” said Jean Touitou, founder of cult label A.P.C, at his store launch last night in the heart of London’s East End. The shop is Touitou’s second in London. The first, in Mayfair, caters to a more, let’s say, polished crowd. “Shoreditch—it’s a different clientele and totally unique vibe, not just from the West End, but from anywhere in the world,” Touitou explained. “The timing seemed perfect to open up here as the brand has a lot of cool East End kids as fans.”
Judging by the huge crowd that spilled out on the street, his assessment seems to be spot on. Local fans no longer have to hightail it to Bond Street for their fix, and the retailer is only the latest addition to the Shoreditch scene; the boutique is located next to the Sunspel shop and ground zero of East End dining, Les Trois Garçons. This particular branch isn’t shop as much is it closet, a bijou space that is perfectly in keeping with the brand ethos of less-is-more. The small size had the faithful spilling out in the street, including designers Peter Pilotto, Thomas Tait, J.W. Anderson, and Husam El Odeh, as well as plenty of East End kids ready to spend their milk money. (Incidentally, everyone has to shell out at A.P.C.—even celebrity fans like Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sofia Coppola, and Alexa Chung. “I don’t give celebrities any free items—it’s very democratic process; they come to the shops and buy the clothes like anyone else,” Touitou insisted. “I think as a business you are doing something right when you have famous people actually buy something, when they are normally used to getting stuff for free. Must mean something, non?”)
And where’s the next stop for A.P.C.’s world-domination mission? Maybe Touitou’s beloved India, the inspiration behind the Madras line he makes in collaboration with Jessica Ogden? “No, the timing for India is definitely not right. Indians are very focused on bling right now—they just don’t get this pared-down aesthetic.”
A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou had a special guest in tow for last night’s opening of his A.P.C. Specials store in the West Village: Jessica Ogden, the usually under-the-radar co-designer of the brand’s Madras line. Given the cold outside, it was especially appropriate that conversation with Ogden turned on quilts; her latest collaboration with Touitou is the Quilt Project, a range of limited-edition ones made from fabrics culled from the A.P.C. archives. None of which, Ogden says, she herself owns. “I already have so many quilts, ones I’ve collected over the years, I’m not sure I could cram any more into my home,” she admitted. “I do have these small samples of the ones we’ve made. They’re like doll-size versions.” Unfortunately for Ogden, her brief trip to New York didn’t coincide with the American Folk Art Museum’s huge show of red and white quilts that comes to the Park Avenue Armory in March. “Maybe there’s some way I can back for that,” Ogden mused. “The pieces look stunning, and to see them all together, all that red and white on display…”
Touitou, for his part, is due back in the city sooner rather than later. The A.P.C. Specials store, it turns out, is not the only A.P.C. outlet opening in the West Village: Touitou is also readying a 2,000-square-foot store around the corner. “It’ll just be a regular A.P.C. store, with all the usual things,” Touitou explained, in his usual unvarnished manner. And in the meantime, A.P.C. fans can come to the Specials store for a hit of A.P.C. nostalgia. Not only is it the New York home for Butler, A.P.C.’s range of used, retro-fitted jeans, but Specials also features an ever-evolving selection of archival A.P.C. product, brought back as Touitou sees fit. And then there are the quilts. “I like the idea of someone coming in and seeing a piece of fabric from a dress or a shirt she owns,” Touitou noted. “The quilts, they’re like a retrospective of A.P.C. That’s why I would never make them from new materials. What’s the point?”
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.