As much as I love A.P.C., I can’t get behind a brand with a founder/designer that lets offensive comments fly. Jean Touitou, founder and designer of French brand A.P.C., is known for controversy, like trash talking Hedi Slimane and the process of collaboration, claiming that he’s tired of working with other designers. Up until now, the comments were petty and I was able to shrug them off, but this time, there are some serious consequences. After some incredibly offensive statements he made during his fall menswear show in Paris, Jean Touitou has issued an apology after Timberland cut all ties with the brand.
This is how it went down: Touitou usually holds up hand-written signs to signify a new portion of the presentation. For a particular section, one that featured Timberland boots from a collaboration between Timberland and A.P.C., Touitou held up a sign that read “Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS.”
And the audience was definitely uncomfortable as Touitou stated, “I call this one look Last N****s in Paris. Why? Because it’s the sweet spot when the hood—the ‘hood—meets Bertolucci’s movie Last Tango in Paris. So that’s ‘N****s in Paris’ and Last N****s in Paris,” according to this Style.com review.
When the Style.com reviewer followed up, Touitou stated:
“One hip-hop song is called ‘N***** in Paris.’ One movie is called ‘Last Tango in Paris.’
“I made looks which are a cross-over of those two references: the Timberland shoes and the sweat pants are iconic of hip-hop, and the camel hair color coat, worn with nothing under it, is iconic of that precise movie. I am friends with Kanye [West, who recorded “Ni**as in Paris” with Jay Z], and he and I presented a joint collection at the same place, one year ago, and that this thing is only a homage to our friendship. As a matter of fact, when I came up with this idea, I wrote to him, with the picture of the look and the name I was giving to it, and he wrote back immediately saying something like, ‘I love this vibe.’”
So apparently, if you’re friends with Kanye, you can do anything? I don’t think so. This is a serious no no, and the designer himself knows it, as he’s issued an apology in a statement released to GQ, where Touitou says, “When describing our brand’s latest collaboration, I spoke recklessly using terms that were both ignorant and offensive. I apologize and am deeply regretful for my poor choice of words, which are in no way a reflection of my personal views.”