Interview of Jean Touitou, founder and designer of A.P.C. in his Brussels shop

A picture of the legendary A.P.C. jeans as a portrait of Jean Touitou, the founder and designer who didn’t wish to be photographed. And as I don’t like to use the press portraits in my interviews: sorry no portrait this time. Rewind, we are in the A.P.C. shop, rue Darwin, the staff comes and goes to prepare the party to be held in a few hours. Seated next to the fitting room, the interview begins. Why fashion? – It could have been something else. I’ve always been sensitive to not put anything on me. The creation of A. P.C.? – In 1987. I was a ghost designer for other brands (like Joseph). I didn’t want to start in misery. This is important when you’re an artist to gain your financial independence. It was pretty funny at this time, I was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The first collection? – I started by a men’s collection, but a good half of the clients were women. I have the cutting direction. The menswear is very demanding, it is much more difficult. It takes ten years to make a nice jacket for man, sold at reasonable prices. Is the price a permanent concern? – Absolutely. Fashion, it’s the intersection of the world of art and industry. The A.P.C. fashion for women? – I try to stay as far away as possible from the vulgarity. An aesthetic almost sexless, it is my way of magnifying the woman. I hope to make things attractive. I’ve never played the heritage of Paris. Even if no one can deny that Parisian women has a natural chic.

What about the collaboration with Vanessa Seward, the former artistic director of Azzaro (pictured above)? – A collection for next fall-winter, more Rive Gauche, very pretty, very sexy. Has each collection got a theme? – We write the same song or novel all our life. The theme is the existence. I have no theme. I work in cycles. A cycle will be focussed on women’s jackets. There is no concept, it’s just a desire. Now I really want to make a very high waist jeans. I know it’s going to dress a girl of 20. The perfect silhouette, woman A.P.C.? – There is no muse. I dress my 7 years old daughter, my 20 years old daughter, my 40 years old wife and her mother.

Accessories? – It’s complicated. I have always made accessories. Footwear for 8 years and it’s starting to be nice. You really need one hand crafts in all that is done in leather. What about the iconic A.P.C. jeans (photo 1)? – I’ve just done the work that Levi’s has stopped making. Inspired by travels? – I’m trying to travel as less as possible. Airports are more inspirational places, than the locations we go to. The world has standardized… Yes, there are still some specifics, like the English and their way of slumming costumes. www.usonline.apc.fr  

Thanks to Jean Touitou 

Picture 2: look book APC Spring Summer 2012 – credit photo : A.P.C. and picture 3: APC look book Vanessa Seward Fall-Winter 2012-2013 – credit photo : A.P.C. 

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