39 rue Madame 75006 Paris. This address may be familiar to you, and for good reason: it is the address of the workshops of the brand APC, Ateliers de Production et de Création, founded by Jean Touitou at the end of the 1980s.
If the French label was first and foremost known for its very well-made jeans cut from Japanese fabric, it has continued to grow and develop a frank vision through numerous collaborations. High-end work, sober and elegant pieces, a refined line of clothing “à la française” are among the keys to the success of the collections initiated by the founder.
A desire to transmit and exchange
The creator of the brand has always wanted to share his vision. Not only with the public, but also with various personalities gravitating more or less around the world of fashion. Thus, in 2019 were born the “Interactions“. Different from the traditional associations between two houses, this is a capsule collection dedicated to a personality, or an entity chosen by the designer, who is offered a platform to express himself.
Each capsule is unique, and can offer a representation rather artistic or social, even political, depending on the speaker highlighted. From the jewelry designer Charlotte Chesnais to the Japanese of SACAI, through Catherine Deneuve or Brain Dead, we propose you to make a tour of the interactions since their launch in 2019. And to bring this project to life in spring 2019, the first guest is none other than Kid Cudi himself.
A.P.C & KiD Cudi Present INTERACTION#1
Among the various Interactions presented, some are worn by influential actors of the culture. Movie stars, singers, the sensitivity of some of these artists is highlighted in a dance with the vision of A.P.C. Symbolically, it is the superstar Kid Cudi who first agrees to play the game with the famous “A.P.C & KiD Cudi Present INTERACTION#1“.
The capsule collection under the theme “Beautfiul Madness” includes a red perfecto jacket with a print of a painting by W. Blake, two colorways of sneakers (white and red) stamped “Cudder”, and other t-shirts printed with paint stains or jeans embroidered Dream ON. The pop star has thus opened the door to collaborations with other personalities not necessarily evolving directly in the fashion world.
A.P.C. Catherine Deneuve
We think, for example, Catherine Deneuve, a major figure of French cinema, which, during the interaction number 7 “A.P.C. Catherine Deneuve“, proposed a mini wardrobe chic and elegant in the image of the role she plays in the film Belle de jour of 1967. This collection is perfectly in line with the original spirit of the brand to propose an idea of French chic, modernized, without forgetting the codes.
Among the strong pieces of this capsule collection you will find a dress, a jacket all stamped A.P.C C.D, to echo this capsule we have also written a Size Guide: How Do APC Shirts For Men And Women Fit? which presents the different cuts of both the women’s and men’s wardrobe.
Before her, it was Gwyneth Paltrow who collaborated in the interaction No. 6. If she remains a Hollywood personality, it is especially through her brand Goop (promoting the “wellness” in the American way) that the actress has collaborated. Her work highlighted denim and thus recalled the early days of Ateliers which made its reputation on denims and a collection with straightforward cuts, but elegant, simple and very high quality.
This work of interaction also continues through partners much more established in the world of ready-to-wear. Thus we find him alongside superstars, streetwear this time, which allows the brand to acquire greater awareness among audiences of various backgrounds that might have been more difficult to reach in the context of classic collections, and to test different things.
Carhartt comes to mind, of course, in interaction capsule #5, which allowed the two groups to capitalize on their mutual mastery of denim, with workwear-inspired canvas garments specific to the Detroit group. Each partnership is also an opportunity to work on the graphic identity, for example here the “C” logotype of Carhartt replaces the APC monogram.
The collaboration with the Canadian studio JJJJound, for the 4th, also highlighted the common points between the two representations and what united them. Here, their taste for minimalism, discretion, classic garments with simple yet sophisticated cuts, which result in modern and timeless pieces of great class, as well as a series of accessories.
In this common search for a form of perfection and minimalist aesthetic, Jean Touitou recognizes himself in Justin Saunders (the creator of the studio from across the Atlantic), when he was just starting out and was planning to set up his headquarters at 39 rue madame 75006 Paris, an address that has become mythical in the history of the company.
In the other spirit, more targeted punk & comics, the n° 3 with the Californians of Brain Dead allows the Parisians to test things outside of their original editorial line, by proposing them to take some classics of the brand to make an imaginary streetwear merchandising around the movie Future Shock, taken from a book of the same name from the 70s. A beautiful denim jacket and a series of accessories stamped “Brain APC” complete this very graphic drop.
Finally, another band collaboration recently saw the light of day in Spring 2021 with 9th Interaction and fashion house Sacai. Once again, the fusion of the two universes works wonders: the Japanese avant-garde stages ample and purified silhouettes, the Parisian house operates on its material of predilection.
From this was born a unisex capsule entitled SA.P.C.AI, a cross between the DNA of the two brands. Neutral tones, well worked basics, but also dresses, sandals and sneakers are the elements that make up this drop. Games of materials and accessories such as zippers, specific to the vocabulary of Japanese creations, highlight the hybrid identity of the luxury brand founded by Chitose Abe.
Creators of the environment
For the past 2 years, A.P.C. has been diversifying the nature of its participants. If some of them are mainly amateurs without any training, others are on the contrary recognized creators who already have a good experience in the field.
From the 2nd interaction of July 2019 for example, Jean Touiton solicited his long time friend Suzane Koller, stylist and artistic director having collaborated with him in the past within the Ateliers de Production et Création. The opportunity for her to sign a capsule with her name and her image, classic, but subtly radical, with among others a giant parka and a flannel djellaba in navy blue.
Another of the designer’s collaborators, Charlotte Chesnai, will also sign the interaction 8. The jewelry designer is given carte blanche to reinvent a capsule around white wool and lurex knitwear, with for example the Arianne dress or the Donna jacket. The freedom that Jean Touitou gives to the jeweler shows through the designs under the airs of “young girl in flowers” and reminds the universe of his jewelry.
Through the diversity of the people with whom he collaborates, the Parisian designer ensures a regular renewal of what he is able to offer within the Ateliers, in addition to diversifying his audience and opening up to new markets. The productions all remain coherent and in line with the label’s identity, the idea being to feed off the best of both worlds in order to offer the most “right” pieces possible.
This quest for perfection, unattainable, acts as an engine for the creator and allows him to stay in tune with his time. The latest one on April 8, 2021, No. 10, involves a friend of the Touitou couple, René Holguin, founder of the California store RTH, known for its jeans, leather goods and carefully selected ceramics.
The drop, both rather discreet and cool, offers cotton chambray and denim clothing such as dresses or shirts, tees stamped with a peace and love logo or a “We are Equal” mantra, as well as braided braid accessories such as bags or a belt, not without recalling the retailer’s California spirit.
About the A.P.C. Universe, find our articles :
- Sizing Guide : How to size APC for Men and Women ? Our advice.
- Who is Jean Touitou, the A.P.C. label touch ?
- The 5 reasons that make A.P.C. one of the coolest brand
- APC jeans, minimalism and expertise
- The APC bag, classic, timeless and modern
- APC Hiver 87 by Jean Touitou | FR
- A.P.C. pour Elle : La beauté épurée
- A.P.C. FW19, the French touch
- A.P.C. U.S. : French Made In USA !